Ludogorets vs Liverpool Odds – Reds face tough Champions League ask in Bulgaria

Liverpool will be out to avoid a fifth successive defeat when they travel to Bulgaria to face Ludogorets in the Champions league.

A 3-1 reversal at Crystal Palace last time out condemned the reds to their worst start in 22 years and left them 12th in the standings.

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Brendan Rodgers men have not won since a 2-1 win over Swansea in the Capital One cup in October and will head into the clash with Ludogorets on the back of three straight champions league defeats.

Out of form and out of ideas, Liverpool have struggled to replicate the fluid play that saw them just miss out on the title last season.

That said all is not lost, the club are just five points off the crucial final fourth spot in the league and if they can win their final two matches in the group stages they could sneak through to the next stage of the competition.

According to Rodgers, an early goal is crucial if they are to succeed, telling reporters in his pre-match conference “The way I work is to never dwell on the past. Anyone can make mistakes. We need to focus on the next game.

“We will keep fighting and working in the belief that the honesty and commitment of the group will get us the results.

“We haven’t gotten the results and we haven’t been consistent. If we get the first goal that can give us the confidence.”

Rodgers has doubts over a number of players with Jose Enrique (knee) and Mamadou Sakho (thigh) set to be assessed while Mario Balotelli is set to join Daniel Sturridge (thigh), Suso (groin) and Jon Flanagan (knee) on the sidelines meaning a second straight start for Rickie Lambert.

Ludogorets for their part will be without Ivan Cvorovic with a shoulder injury. The club drew 1-1 with leaders CSKA Sofia on Saturday and a draw or defeat will end their chances of a place in the next round.

Trevor Keane is an Irish based sports writer and the author of Gaffers, 50 years of Irish Managers and Running through Walls, the Dave Langan Story.