28 February 2020
A 2-0 defeat at home gives Ludogorets a mountain to climb going into the second leg of their UEFA Europa League (EL) last-32 tie against Internazionale at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza this week.
Although the match will be played behind closed doors due to rising concerns over the coronavirus outbreak, the hosts remain huge pre-match favorites. Crossed over from the UEFA Champions League, the Serie A giants are looking to maintain their 100% record in the EL round-of-16 ties (W3) and secure fourth consecutive home win at this juncture. But, the Nerazzurri have endured mixed fortunes in their last six European home fixtures (W2, D2, L2), with four of those games featuring under 2.5 goals. Antonio Conte’s side will now look to improve that record and can lean upon a solid home form in the recent period (W4, D2, L1). Notably, three of their four successes during that seven-game sequence have seen Inter score precisely four goals per match, although they’ve managed just one clean sheet along the way.
Meanwhile, the visitors will bow out to the Italian opposition in the EL last-32 tie for the second successive time in all likelihood, as their European away record this season (W1, D1, L1) suggests they are unlikely to turn around Inter’s lead. The reigning Bulgarian champions’ indifferent away form (W2, D4, L1) is another stumbling block, as well as the fact that they scored under 1.5 goals in six of their last seven competitive road trips. The Eagles have also failed to impress in their previous ten away games in the EL proper (W2, D5, L3), with eight of those encounters featuring under 2.5 goals. If they manage to get on the scoresheet, they are likely to do it in the second half, given that two of their four EL away goals scored this season came beyond the hour mark.
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