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Cue the Music: AA's Liverpool v. Ludogorets Match Preview

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Liverpool's first Champions League night in five years is against Ludogorets Razgrad. A team who've had quite the story themselves.

Clive Brunskill

UK: 8:30PM BST: ITV1

US: 2:30PM EST: Fox Sports 2

Liverpool face a new challenge as they take on Ludogorets in their first Champions League night in five years, and will thank the heavens that it's a home game.

Liverpool's last game against Aston Villa left a lot to be desired, and the boys will look to bounce back after the disappointing home defeat.

Martin Skrtel looks to be fit again, however, this game is just a little bit too early for the defender as he's still among the injured. Glen Johnson, Jon Flannagan, Daniel Sturridge, and Emre Can remain out, while Lazar Markovic will miss this game and the game against Basel due to the suspension he picked up in last year's Europa League semi final with Benfica. Now fit Adam Lallana had 60 minutes against Villa and looks to be able to start once again.

Liverpool's buildup play was rather slow at the weekend with only one man up top, and on the other end Dejan Lovren was the first to admit that the goal Liverpool conceded was soft, with the Croatian undoubtably looking to turn around his play.

Neither Mario Balotelli nor Rickie Lambert have their first goals just yet, but both might get to change that tomorrow as Brendan might look to push another player forward to give us more options.

Ludogorets had their 'keeper sent off in their qualifier against Steua Bucharest, and they eventually qualified on penalties, where one of their center backs produced two saves and scored one of his own in somewhat of a fairy tale for the side from Bulgaria.

Having said that, they look to put out a 17 year old in goal as their second choice 'keeper is out injured. That's not to say that this will be any kind of easy. Ludogorets defended well in the qualifiers, only conceding through a great early goal in the third round before equalizing late on and eventually winning.  This is a dream come true for them, and neither team will be, or should be, taking this lightly.

Other thoughts:

-This is it. This is where we want to be. This is where we set our sights when Brendan first came in. Now we're here. It's time to tell Europe to be afraid of Liverpool again. (JAceKopite16)

-One up front doesn't work. In a perfect world, it's Raheem and Balotelli up front and Lallana on the left with Hendo on the right, Phil at the tip of the diamond and Stevie in a holding role. Lucas could start in place of Stevie perhaps, but after Stevie's extended break, I think he has this game in him and will be rested in the Middlesborough match. (JAceKopite16)

-Faster. Everything needs to be faster. The buildup was too slow against Villa. We need more searching, concise balls in this match. We need to ask more questions and make nothing easy for them. (JAceKopite16)

-The defense needs to be sharp. Ludogorets will get relatively few chances, so it's important that the defense maintains its focus and doesn't give anything away cheap after that lackluster display against Villa. A clean sheet would be nice for their confidence going forward. (Will)

-Coutinho needs to have a good game. He's been invisible so far this season, but this should be a good chance for him to get on the right track. (Will)

-It's killing me knowing that I won't be able to watch this one live. For the first time since I became a fan, Liverpool will be playing in the Champion's League, and I won't even be able to see it until late tomorrow night. Having a job is lame. (Will)

-They don't have to know about it, Will. (Dan)

-Games like this are often good for the confidence of players like Lallana because he'll have more space to work with than in a Premier League game. (Dan)

-I can't wait. (Dan)