Liverpool v Ludogorets Razgrad Odds, free bets – Champions League returns to Anfield

Liverpool host the Bulgarian side PFC Ludogorets in their Champions League opener this evening.

It will be the Reds first side back in the competition after five years in the European wilderness.

A second place finish in the 2013/14 Premier League ensured Liverpool qualified straight into the group stage of the Champions League.

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Liverpool’s last stint in the competition saw them exit at the group stage, with Fiorentina and Lyon progressing in their place.

PFC Ludogrets are competing in the group stage of the tournament for the first time, after an amazing qualification win over Steaua Bucharest.

After their tie all square, their goalkeeper Vladislav Stoyanov was sent off in the last minute of extra-time.

Defender Cosmin Moti was forced to don the gloves for the penalty shoot-out and he incredibly saved two to send the Bulgarian’s through!

Also in the group is the tournament holders Real Madrid and the Swiss side FC Basel, with Liverpool confident of qualification.

Tuesday’s fixture will be the first between the two sides.

Champions League record: Liverpool five time winners; PFC Ludogrets first time group

Team news

Rodgers will resist the urge to make wholesale changes following their disappointing performance and result against Aston Villa.

Martin Skrtel has been ruled out by Rodgers, which will see Mamadou Sakho continue alongside Dejan Lovren in the heart of the defence.

Another out of the match is Daniel Sturridge, after he picked up an injury when away with England last week.

Mario Balotelli will continue to deputise in Sturridge’s absence, although Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini are other alternatives.

Adam Lallana and Lazar Markovic look set to battle it out for a wide role as part of the three attacking midfielders, with Raheem Sterling returning.

Stoyanov is suspended for the Bulgarian side following his recent red card, with Georgi Argilashki set to deputise.

Moti will return to a more familiar role in defence, with Roman Bezjak set for a forward role and could cause Liverpool trouble.

Liverpool (4-2-3-1): Mignolet; Manquillo, Lovren, Sakho, Moreno; Henderson, Gerrard; Coutinho, Sterling, Markovic; Balotelli

Ludogorets (4-5-1): Argilashki; Moti, Aleksandrov, Minev, Junior; Abalo, Dyakov, Espinho; Marcelinho, Bezjak, Misidjan

Trevor is a Dublin based journalist and content writer, having already written a number of sports related books, including Running through Walls, the Dave Langan Story. You can follow Trevor at Google here.

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