Ludogorets v Liverpool: Champions League match preview

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Through the unreliability of Mario Balotelli, Reds fans may seem a little more optimistic ahead of their journey to Bulgaria to face the only side that Liverpool have so far managed to register any points against in this year's Champions League.

The game comes too soon for the Italian who is currently struggling with a niggling hamstring, so Brendan Rodgers has sensibly decided to leave him behind in Merseyside.

That will therefore leave a spare seat on the plane which is expected to be accommodated by Liverpool's only goalscorer away from home this season as far as November is concerned. And that player is Rickie Lambert who netted after just 90 seconds in the Reds' 3-1 slaughtering at the hands of Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Jordan Henderson will miss the game through illness while Jose Enrique and Suso are recovering from long term injuries, as is Daniel Sturridge who has recently confirmed that his return could come earlier than scheduled.

As for Ludogorets, they will be boosted by the fact that they have defender Yordan Minev back after a one-match ban against Basel but Roman Bezjak is having trouble with a groin problem and will consequently be rested as a precaution.

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You may have noticed earlier that Liverpool were butchered by Neil Warnock's Palace at the weekend and that caps off what has been a torrid start to the season for Brendan Rodgers. 

Last years runners up in the Premier League have only picked up a mere four wins this season and have been defeated six times already which marks the same amount of losses they suffered in last year's campaign.

Their Champions League campaign so far has suffered the same fate with their only win actually coming against their opponents for this tie. Back-to-back defeats to Real Madrid after an uncharacteristic breakdown in Basel has landed them in an uncomfortable third position.

It could be worse, however. Ludogorets sit below them only on goal difference but defeat on Wednesday evening can drag Brendan Rodgers' side to the bottom where their Champions League procedure bid will come to an end.

The Reds will be praying that Real Madrid can snatch all three points in the meantime over in Switzerland to create an anticipated final game scrap for the last qualification spot as the duo go head-to-head at Anfield on December 9.

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UEFA Champions League
Mario Balotelli
Brendan Rodgers

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