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Europa League • PFC Ludogorets Razgrad-AC Milan Preview: Conspiring

It’s not often that you face a new time only to learn that they have been conspiring with your enemies. But here we are, heading to Razgrad, Bulgaria, to face the six-time Bulgarian champions Ludogorets. They are called the Eagles, and they are not the only Eagles in our lives right now. We are also sandwiched between two Coppa Italia ties with the Eagles of Lazio. And it turns out that Lazio gave an eagle, called Fortuna, to Ludogorets. Coincidence? I think not. Our enemies are conspiring against us.

Consistency and titles... don't underestimate this team

Ludogorets are the Juventus of Bulgaria. Except they perform better in Europe. Which is bad news for us. They have won six straight Bulgarian titles, and during that same time have played in the Champions League and/or the Europa League every single year. And we are playing in their house. But apparently, they have been on break for two months and haven’t played a competitive match since mid-December, which they won, of course. Since then, they have played a few friendlies, most of which they have won, too. Coach Dimitrov seems to be missing only keeper Stoyanov to a long-term injury, so they will basically be at full strength.

Gattuso seems quite wary of the threat this team poses to Milan. Particularly of their consistency as a team and also winning. But it is expected that he will put his best team out there. He is of course without Conti and Storari due to injury, and Kalinic is still out injured. Additionally, Locatelli will be suspended for this match due to card accumulation. While Cutrone is being rumored to get the start up front, it’s refreshing to not have Kalinic as the default striker. Scoring an away goal or more would be amazing, however we also need to keep them off of the scoresheet.

No Kalinic? No problem

It’s not enough that we are facing such a tough opponent in their house. But we also have our enemy conspiring against us, literally giving wings to Ludogorets. They have been consistent and successful since their team was purchased in 2010, turning the club upside down. Now here we are, in the first year of new ownership, with a chance to prove that we are coming back. It won’t be easy, but whatever we lack in consistency or league titles, we are making up for in belief. And sometimes, that’s all you need.


This post inspired by the music of Imagine Dragons’ “Believer”


Europa League Round of 32
Ludogorets vs. AC Milan
Thursday, February 15 • 19:00 CET (1pm EST)
This match will NOT be shown LIVE on TV in the U.S.

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