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Group J is delicately poised with three teams tied on six points, but Ludogorets have lost all three games so far and Slovan Liberec are the only side across the groups to have conceded more goals.
It’s difficult to read too much into Ludogorets’ domestic results as the dominant force in Bulgaria. They’ve claimed the league title in each of the past nine seasons since being promoted to the top flight, while they already hold a two-point cushion in the current campaign with a game in hand over nearest challengers Lokomotiv Plovdiv.
It’s been business as usual for the Bulgarian outfit then, not just domestically but also on the European scene.
They haven’t enjoyed much success on the continent and excluding Europa League qualifiers and play-offs where they’ve largely encountered weak teams, they’re just W2-D6-L10 since August 2018.
In fact, including those play-offs and qualifiers, Ludogorets have lost eight of nine winless European matches since 2018 versus teams from Europe’s top five leagues, squaring off with Milan, Leverkusen, Espanyol, Inter and Spurs over this period.
However, they weren’t often humiliated and only two of these games saw them defeated by more than two clear goals, with one of those the very first game in this sequence.
There’s little room then for complacency from Jose Mourinho’s side. However, confidence won’t be an issue after what feels like a seismic victory over Man City at the weekend. The Lilywhites are now W11-D3-L1 since an opening day defeat to an Everton side that came racing out the blocks, which includes six wins from their past seven, though the exception did come in this tournament as they went down 1-0 on the road to Antwerp.
Mourinho has rotated heavily for this competition and we’d expect nothing less here, especially with this clash sandwiched between that triumph over Pep Guardiola’s team and a meeting with third-placed Chelsea to come on Sunday.
Taking the likes of Harry Kane and Heung-min Son out of the line-up should inevitably decrease output, but given the consistency with which Ludogorets have lost to the better teams, we’d still expect a reasonably comfortable evening for Spurs.
Spurs To Win And Both Teams To Score
Indeed, the likes of Gareth Bale, Vinicius Junior and Lucas Moura will offer a major threat, while the reverse fixture saw Spurs register 22 shots on target.
Of course, Spurs are huge favourites to take the spoils, but there could be value coupling it with both teams to score, especially after the Bulgarians popped off 12 shots of their own in that recent clash.
Mourinho’s charges have kept just the solitary clean sheet from their group stage encounters so far, while they even conceded four times across three qualifier and play-off encounters with Lokomotiv Plovdiv, Shkendija ’79 and Maccabi Haifa.
That leaves them with just one shutout in six European matches this season, despite a weak pool of opposition.
Spurs To Win 3-1
Ludogorets have scored five times across their three group stage matches, while they also managed to register a goal away at the San Siro against Inter in last season’s knockouts.
That encourages us to get behind the home win and both teams to score, but given Spurs have scored exactly three times in half of their six Europa League games this term, including a pair of 3-1 victories, so a repeat scoreline could be on the cards.