PSV will host Bulgarian side Ludogorets Razgrad as they get their Europa League group stage campaign underway on Thursday.

  • By Michael Bell
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depay bThe Eindhoven club find themselves in the Europa League after defeat to AC Milan in the Champions League play-offs, but after being drawn in a good group, PSV have a chance to go far in the competition.

The campaign starts with Bulgarians Ludogorets, while PSV will also face Dinamo Zagreb from Croatia, and Ukrainian side Chornomorets in their group.

It is important for Phillip Cocu’s side to get off to the best start, especially at home, and the Eindhoven crowd will be expecting their team to win handsomely, against the unfamiliar Bulgarians.

However, Ludogorets will pose a considerable threat, with the club champions in Bulgaria last season, and where also part of the Champions League play-offs, before being knocked out by Basel.This season Ludogorets sit top of the table, and have a familiar face, in young Dutch winger Virgil Misidjan, who joined from Willem II in the summer.

PSV are also not in the greatest form, having not won in their last five games, suffering disappointing draws to Heracles, Cambuur, and most recently Twente. With Ajax waiting at the weekend, it also remains to be seen if Cocu will rest some of his stars for the crucial league game on Sunday.

Karim Rekik is definitely out for PSV having undergone surgery to correct an ankle problem, and the defender will miss at least four weeks.

Possible Line-ups:

PSV- Zoet, Brenet, Willems, Bruma, Hendrix, Schaars, Wijnaldum, Maher, Depay, Bakkali. Locadia

Ludogorets- Stoyanov, Choco, Mantyla, Moti, Minev, Zlatinski, Dyakov, Marcelinho, Misidjan, Stoyanov, Besjak


Ludogorets will prove a tough contest for PSV, but if they plan on going far in the competition, it also poses as a must win game, with harder ties to come. With Ajax coming up in the league, attention may be swayed towards their rivals, and if they are not at 100% on Thursday the Bulgarian champions will punish them.

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