Tiny Ludogorets aim to exploit Liverpool's weakness

Bulgarian minnows Ludogorets claim to have found weaknesses in Tuesday`s Champions League opponents Liverpool, the five time European champions they visit for their debut in the group stage. 

Tiny Ludogorets aim to exploit Liverpool's weakness
Liverpool's Raheem Sterling, left, and Mario Balotelli train at Melwood training ground, in Liverpool, Monday

Sofia: Bulgarian minnows Ludogorets claim to have found weaknesses in Tuesday`s Champions League opponents Liverpool, the five time European champions they visit for their debut in the group stage. 

"Liverpool are a very strong side but they have some weak points and we should make the most of it," Ludogorets captain Svetoslav Dyakov told reporters before departing for England on Monday.

"We need to minimise our mistakes because they can punish any mistake," added the 30 year-old midfielder, who was instrumental in helping Ludogorets win three successive league titles and reach the last 16 stage in the Europa League last season. 

"We know that a draw wouldn`t be a bad result because every point in the Champions League is precious but we`ll be definitely searching for a win."

Liverpool, who are back in Europe`s premier competition for the first time in five years, finished second in the Premier League last season, but have lost two of their opening four games in the new campaign, include a shock 1-0 home defeat against Aston Villa on Saturday.

They have conceded five goals despite bolstering their defence with Croatia centre back Dejan Lovren and Spanish full backs Javi Manquillo and Alberto Moreno.

Liverpool have predictably been missing last season`s leading scorer Luis Suarez, who was sold to Barcelona, while England international Daniel Sturridge, who also scored heavily, will be unavailable on Tuesday after suffering a thigh injury in training with the national team last week.

Ludogorets have lost their two keepers Vladislav Stoyanov and Ivan Cvorovic, both Bulgarian internationals, and were forced to sign Canada keeper Milan Borjan only three days before Liverpool game.

Stoyanov is suspended after being sent off in the dramatic shootout win over Steaua Bucharest in the second leg of the playoff round with Romania defender Cosmin Moti going in goal for the penalties and saving two spot kicks.

Cvorovic was due to play against Liverpool but he injured a shoulder in training on Thursday and will need an operation.

"He (Borjan) is in good shape," said Ludogorets coach Georgi Dermendzhiev. "He`s been here for a couple of days only but he already showed we can trust him. 

"We made a special training because of him, we showed him how to combine with players, how to communicate with them."

Dermendzhiev will also have to do without injured French centre back Alexandre Barthe while defenders Georgi Terziev and Brayan Angulo, the team`s most expensive new signings, are both doubtful despite being included in the squad.

Ludogorets are based in Razgrad - a town with a population of less than 35,000, and won their first promotion to the top division in 2011. Since then, they won three league titles, two national cups and two domestic Supercups.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can find out more by clicking this link

Close