Ludogorets v Zürich facts

Ludogorets are still to win a game in Group A as they bow out against a Zürich side already through to the round of 32.

Ludogorets are still to win in Group A
Ludogorets are still to win in Group A ©Getty Images

Out of contention for a place in the knockout phase after four matches, Ludogorets Razgrad have yet to win a game in UEFA Europa League Group A and will hope to rectify that as they bow out with a home fixture against an FC Zürich side who are already through to the knockout phase.

• Ludogorets are on a run of three successive draws in the section, having opened their group campaign with back-to-back defeats. They held table-topping Bayer Leverkusen 1-1 in Germany on matchday five.

• Zürich laid firm foundations for their first appearance in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase with nine points from their opening three matches, but they have lost their last two, most recently going down 1-2 at home to AEK Larnaca.

Highlights: Zürich 1-0 Ludogorets
Highlights: Zürich 1-0 Ludogorets

Previous meetings
• FCZ defeated Ludogorets 1-0 at home on matchday two thanks to Icelandic midfielder Viktor Pálsson's 84th-minute winner. The Swiss side's only other encounters with a Bulgarian club took place 41 years ago, when they overcame CSKA Sofia 2-1 on aggregate in a UEFA Cup first-round tie (1-0 at home, 1-1aet away).

• Ludogorets have won just one of their other six games against Swiss opposition, all of them in the UEFA Champions League against Basel – though they did draw the two most recent games, in 2016/17 (1-1 away, 0-0 in Sofia), which enabled them to finish above them in their group.

Form guide
Ludogorets
• Ludogorets' seventh consecutive Bulgarian league title earned them a place in this season's UEFA Champions League first qualifying round. Having seen off Crusaders 9-0 over two games, they then lost to Hungarian champions Vidi to move into the UEFA Europa League, where they eliminated Zrinjski and Torpedo Kutaisi to reach the group stage of the competition for the second year in a row – and third time in all.

• The Razgrad club were successful in each of their previous two UEFA Europa League group stage participations, reaching the round of 16 in 2013/14 and round of 32 in 2017/18. They also competed in the 2016/17 round of 32, having finished third in their UEFA Champions League group.

Watch Ludogorets draw at Leverkusen on matchday five
Watch Ludogorets draw at Leverkusen on matchday five

• Ludogorets have kept clean sheets in five of their six European home games this term, conceding only to Leverkusen (2-3) on matchday one. Their UEFA Europa League group stage record in Bulgaria is W3 D3 L2.

Zürich
• Zürich ensured a return to Europe after a year's absence by winning the Swiss Cup for the third time in five years – and tenth time in all – as they denied champions Young Boys the double with a 2-1 win in the Berne final.

• FCZ are in the UEFA Europa League group stage for the fourth time and had never progressed to the knockout phase until this successful campaign. They did, however, reach the round of 32 on their sole UEFA Cup group stage participation, in 2007/08.

• The Swiss club ended a run of seven winless European away fixtures (D2 L5) with their matchday one success in Cyprus against AEK (1-0). That is one of just two wins in FCZ's last 18 European away games (D4 L12) and the only one on their travels in 11 UEFA Europa League group stage encounters (D2 L8).

See Zürich lose at home last time out
See Zürich lose at home last time out

Links and trivia
• FCZ's six European goals this term have been scored by six different players. They are the first Swiss side to reach the UEFA Europa League round of 32 since 2015/16, when two clubs, Basel and Sion, progressed from the group stage.

• Ludogorets striker Claudiu Keşerü holds the record for the fastest hat-trick scored in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final, finding the net three times in ten minutes for Steaua Bucureşti against Aalborg in a 6-0 win on 18 September 2014.

• Keşerü's only appearance for Romania at UEFA EURO 2016 was a 90-minute outing against Switzerland in Paris (1-1).

The coaches
• Antoni Zdravkov became the new head coach of Ludogorets in early October, having stepped up from the assistant post he filled under previous boss Paulo Autuori. A former defender who began his playing career in the mid-1980s with Levski Sofia and played three times for Bulgaria, Zdravkov had a short spell as Levski coach before taking charge of Bulgaria's Under-21 side from October 2014 until June 2018, when he left to join Autuori at Ludogorets.

• A Swiss international left-back from 2000 to 2010 who won 62 caps for his country and appeared at four successive major tournaments, Ludovic Magnin spent most of that time in Germany with Werder Bremen and Stuttgart, winning the Bundesliga with both, before ending his career back in his homeland with Zürich. It was with FCZ's youth teams that he made his first steps as a coach before graduating to the top job in February 2018 and steering the club to Swiss Cup glory three months later.

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