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Old 13-07-17, 08:59   #1
Join Date: Aug 2013
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Default Bulgarian First League 2017-2018

Season starts this weekend (tomorrow, 14.07.2017) and all expectations are for another victorious campaign of Ludogorets. Fact that bookies are backing Ludogorets with odds between 1.25-35 in the pre-season outright betting are indicative for club's superiority but to be honest they are not so active on the transfer market so far. Mostly with selling players.... and after last night's defeat to Zalgiris in Lithuania it's obvious they need to strengthen the squad, especially at the back. Nevertheless, Ludogorets is the main favourite mostly because other clubs are less competitive.
Expected position: Champions (1st)

CSKA Sofia were suspended by UEFA and they won't be able to play in Europe next year as well. This makes their season meaningful only if they become champions and win the league. IMO they're main competitors (if there are any) to Ludogorets and "The Reds" will be keen to end Ludogorets' winning streak.
Expected position: Main title challengers but most likely 2nd

Levski were pretty active on the transfer market and they will also try to put Ludogorets on pressure. Signings of Jordi Gomez, Antonio Vutov, Nelut Rosu, Georgi Angelov, Nelut Rosu will improve their line in midfield, while Bus and Mapuku are good attacking options. However, their defense is not so impressive and this can be crucial for the h2h games, in case they are close to Ludogorets/CSKA. Of course, we are still mid-July and there's more time for Levski to improve the squad.
Expected position: Top 3 (2nd/3rd)

Dunav Ruse - finished 4th last season but I will be extremely surprised if they repeat the same performances. This time they will play at home (in Ruse) as last season they had to play in Razgrad for most of the time, except last few rounds.
Expected position: Top 6 challenger (playoffs)

Lokomotiv Plovdiv - 5th last year but they need to improve the squad as well. I'm sure Botev and Beroe will be motivated to reach top 6 and this will be a challenge for all clubs who were 4th-6th last year.
Expected position: Top 6 challenger (playoffs)

Cherno More - 6th in season 2016-17. Same as Dunav and Lokomotiv Plovdiv, but IMO they're in a better position to claim a top six position. Georgi Ivanov made some decent signings for Bulgarian league and released some of the players who were considered for gaps. Ilias Hassani and Aleksandar Aleksandrov can build a decent centre-back duo.
Expected position: 4th-6th.

Beroe/Botev Plovdiv - Both clubs were out of the top 6 playoffs last season and I believe they will put more effort, but are they capable? Botev Plovdiv looks well and they have a better chance to replace someone from Dunav/Lokomotiv/Cherno More in top 6, while Beroe remains a mystery for me. There were some rumours that Dimitar Berbatov can play for Beroe (coaching staff are good friends of him) until New Year, if he fails to find a new club.
Expected positions: Top 6 challengers

Slavia Sofia/Vereya/Pirin - I highly doubt they can make it to top 6 but the level is not so high so in good circumstances... who knows. Most likely all of these clubs will be between 7th-10th position.

Newcomers: Etar, Septemvri Sofia, Vitosha Bistritsa. I don't have any impressions over them and need to watch them a bit. Anyway, I will be surprised if they achieve more than being a relegation challengers.

All summer transfers:
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Old 15-07-17, 14:35   #2
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Slavia - CSKA

This is a high stake bet for me personally. Let's first talk about football aspects. The game is played at neutral venue - national stadium. The ratio of fans will be about 99:1 for CSKA (yes, Slavia are not very popular). CSKA considered by all as the only opponent of Ludogorets this season. They strengthened and developed their team, achieved fantastic results in friendlies.

Slavia will be the same mediocre team without ambitions as each year.

I have not only football arguments for this bet, although football arguments also point heavily in CSKA direction. The owners of these two teams are very close and have many common business interests. They are so close, that after Grisha Ganchev became owner of CSKA, Slavia's boss in each interview began to mention CSKA and always in positive way. He's speaking not as a president of Slaiva, but as some hardcore CSKA supporter.

I remember last season two games Slavia-CSKA. They were both in the autumn, when CSKA was still very poor and not settled yet. CSKA had many negative results back then, but they still won twice vs Slavia. In the first game, Slaiva had several one-on-one when it was 0:0, but Slavia players suspiciously were kicking the ball long and wide away from the goal.

CSKA needs the 3 points, each point can be crucial in the battle with their enemy Ludogorets. I think they will win comfortably even if the game is 100% pure, but I believe if they have a bad day, Slavia players might also help them get the 3 points.

CSKA-1AH @ 2.0
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Old 16-07-17, 18:22   #3
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In few mins starts Botev - Purim

I was thinking a lot what to do, since our team Botev has extremely important game in EL vs Beitar on Thursday. Odds started from1.85-1.90 wen to 2.10 but now gain 1.80 on home win. Nevertheless mostly regulars starting today.

The away team has financial problems and had to fill the group of players with youngsters.

All in all even with one eye of the game vs Beitar the home team shouldn't loose today. Odds 1.40 on dnb is small but cannot see false start here.

Inplay bet on Botev is also option with odds at 2.0
Unfortunately the game is without spectators due to suspension
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Old 16-07-17, 20:20   #4
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OK. SOME bad calls but 1st round always tricky.

Botev was out of gas after Beitar game and lost deserved.

I'll be more patient next few rounds but still soon the picture over the teams should get better
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Old 21-07-17, 13:34   #5
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The biggest problem of all our clubs except Ludogorets is that they have no quality replacements on the bench. Botev kept their efforts against Pirin and that was expected, but this is just our mentality. The BFU also postponed the game between Levski and Ludogorets from the first round. That is madness. A decision against the football game. What a shame! CSKA totally underestimated Slavia and the result was shocking for everybody in Bulgaria.
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