Liverpool’s Champions League opponents may lack the clout of Europe’s big guns, but they do have an eagle on their side
Brendan Rodgers’ men play their first Champions League tie in five years when they face Ludogorets on Tuesday
The team Liverpool will face on their return to the Champions League, the Bulgarian side Ludogorets, come from the smallest town involved in this season’s competition and have one of the smallest budgets. Liverpool, though, will underestimate them at their peril.
Last season Ludogorets, who were founded only 13 years ago but are bankrolled by the multi-millionaire Kiril Domuschiev, topped their Europa League group ahead of PSV Eindhoven, who they beat home and away, and defeated Lazio before finally succumbing to Valencia in the last 16.
Worryingly for Liverpool, Ludogorets picked up a new signing along the way as Domuschiev was so impressed by Lazio’s eagle Olympia that he bought his team their own eagle and named it after the Roman goddess of luck Fortuna. Now he is hoping this will bring him luck at Anfield.
Last year’s Champions League winners Real Madrid and Swiss champions Basle are in Group B alongside Liverpool.