In the recovery phase, Milan have this Thursday, February 15, the Ludogorets ahead. The game is part of the programming of the second phase of the Europa League 2017/2018 edition, the first in the knockout system. At the Ludogorec Arena in Razgrad, Bulgaria, the match starts at 16h (Brasília time).
From now on, all stages of the tournament will be set in round-robin games until the two finalists are known. In case of equality of number of points conquered at the end of the two matches, the tiebreaker to be made according to the goal balance or the number of goals scored away from home. The second game between Milan and Ludogorets was scheduled for February 22 in Milan.
The recent performance of Ludogorets
The Bulgarians managed to survive in the Europa League by completing their participation in group C of the first phase in second place. He accumulated nine points (two wins, three draws and one loss). He surpassed Basaksehir (eight) and Hoffenheim (five). He was beaten only by Braga (ten).
The team, however, has not played in official matches since Dec. 14. He closed his participation last year being eliminated from the Bulgarian Cup. After a 1-1 draw at regular time with CSKA Sofia, he was knocked out in a 1-0 overtime draw.
The player responsible for his elimination is just the biggest rival in the title fight of the Bulgarian First League, which will have its dispute resumed next Saturday, February 17. With 48 points (15 wins, three draws and two derbies), Ludogorets are in first place. But the advantage over CSKA, deputy leader, is only one point.
The current form of Milan
The Europa League dispute was an exception in the first half of a rather turbulent season at Milan. Milan’s rubro-negro reached their first place in Group D with no more scares, although they also lacked brilliance. They added 11 points (three wins, two draws and one defeat). He left behind AEK (eight), Rijeka (seven) and Austria Vienna (five).
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The problems were concentrated in the Italian Championship. The bad campaign made the leaders dismiss Vicenzo Montela and put Gennaro Gattuso in place. The new coach started skidding, but he was redemptive by taking the best of the Serie A against Italy’s Internazionale. After a goalless draw in regular time, Rubro-negro won by 1-0 in extra time.
This marked a turning point in the club’s campaign, which has since packaged a string of eight undefeated games (four wins and four draws). On Saturday, February 10, he thrashed the Spal away from home 4-0 to 38 points (11 wins, five draws and eight losses).
It is in seventh place, still outside the classification zone for European tournaments. It has three points of disadvantage in comparison with Sampdoria, sixth place. This makes the Europa League a priority, since it would allow Milan, in case of a title, to return to the Champions League.
To face Ludogorets, coach Gattuso has only one question to climb the team. The striker Nikola Kalinic (19 games in the Italian Championship 2017/2018, four goals) is handed over to the medical department. If it is released, it must be listed as the owner. Also in the ward are defender Andre Conti (two games, no goal) and goalkeeper Marco Storari (no performances). Both, however, are casting athletes.
History of the matches Ludogorets vs Milan
This will be the first match between teams.
The style of Gatuso should make Milan opt for a very conservative stance on Thursday seeking only to keep the team able to set the classification at home. Ludogorets’ lack of pace indicates a draw as a good guess. Has a price of 3.50 in Bet365. Bulgarian win yields 3.40 and the prize for Italian success is 2.05. Quotes were in effect at 14:05 on 12/2/2018.