Ludogorets earned a decent point during the opening round of Europa League group games, away at Istanbul Buyuksehir, while Hoffenheim were beaten by Sporting Braga in their own backyard. With those results in mind, both sides will feel like Thursday’s game is a must win as they can’t afford to miss out on another three points and allow Braga to pull even further away. Hoffenheim have started the new season in great form and currently sit second in the Bundesliga, but their European form has been disappointing, as they missed out on the Champions League to Liverpool and now the defeat at home to Braga in the Europa League. Ludogorets also sit in second place, after starting the new season well in Bulgaria’s top flight, and the draw in Turkey last week made for a good start to their European adventure.
Ludogorets have kept three clean sheets in their last six matches, remaining unbeaten in all of those games with four wins and two draws. Hoffenheim sit just behind their hosts in form guide, after picking up three wins, two draws and one defeat from their last six in all competitions. The hosts have netted twelve goals during that same six game period and only conceded four, while Hoffenheim netted eleven times and let in seven, which suggests we could be in for a very close game between the pair on Thursday.
The hosts haven’t relied on just one player to produce the majority of their goals this season, instead both Keșerü and Misidjan have scored four times in the league, while teammates Juninho Quixadá and Lukoki have three each and Andrianantenaina has two. Hoffenheim have been lead by their German forward Uth, who has four Bundesliga goals this season, but fellow forwards Kramarić and Wagner have two each and all three will be danger men against their Bulgarian hosts.
We believe that this Europa League game is going to be very tough to call, as both sides could win the game given their current form and great start to the season domestically. However, due to their European struggles we’re predicting a narrow 2-1 win for the hosts, but just to cover our backs we’re suggesting a draw no bet offer at odds of 11/10, which means that your £20 bet would be refunded if Ludogorets failed to beat Hoffenheim, and only managed to draw.