The 2021/22 season is already underway and Ludogorets have made a good start to defending their title, already managing a 5-0 win over newly promoted Lokomotiv Sofia.
This also means that the team which finishes in 14thposition by the end of this campaign will be relegated straight to the Bulgarian Second League. Botev Vratsa risked possible relegation last season but were successful in the play-offs as they beat Septemvri Sofia to stay in the top-tier.
Two teams were relegated at the end of the 2020/21 season - FC Montana and Etar. Montana finished the 2020/21 regular season at the bottom of the table in 14th position and Etar in 13th position. Etar and Montana ended the play-offs level on points and were subsequently relegated to the Second League. Just as two teams were relegated to the Second League, two teams have now been promoted to the First League for the 2021/22 season. Pirin Blagoevgrad took the Second League title and returned to the First League alongside Lokomotiv Sofia.
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CSKA Sofia, Arda, and Lokomotiv Plovdiv all qualified for the inaugural Europa Conference League. Etar and Montana have been relegated to the Second League. Claudiu Keșerü, previously a forward at Ludogorets and now at Romanian side FCSB, was last season’s top goalscorer with 18 goals. Last season also saw the introduction of VAR.
Ludogorets had an interesting transfer window as they looked to expand and develop the squad in most areas. Notable attacking players include right-winger Kiril Despodov, signed from the Italian Cagliari, as well as centre-forward Jakub Swierczok on loan from Ekstraklasa side Piast Gliwice. The squad has also been developed at the back through centre-backs Igor Plastun and Olivier Verdon.
CSKA Sofia also made attempts to develop their attacking options for the 2021/22 season. CSKA Sofia signed centre-forward Kaloyan Krastev from fellow First League team Slavia Sofia and Yanic Wildschut from Maccabi Haifa. CSKA Sofia have also lost a couple of noteworthy players in Ali Sowe and Tiago Rodrigues.
Ludogorets are favourites this season after winning the league last year with a sizable lead at the top of the table. Ludogorets have easily been one of the top teams in recent years, and will be confident of another title this season. The squad has been improved in some interesting areas that expands both their attacking and defensive options.
CSKA Sofia had a promising season last year as they finished in 3rd and qualified for the inaugural Europa Conference League qualifying rounds. The team finished the previous season just behind Lokomotiv Plovdiv. CSKA Sofia have reinvigorated their attacking options, which could potentially give them the edge they need to improve this season and possibly compete for the title, though it will be a tough ask.
Lokomotiv Plovdiv finished last season as runners-up, just ahead of CSKA Sofia. Despite a strong finish in the table, Plovdiv finished last season 12 points behind league winners Ludogorets and will find it tough to make up the difference this time around. It is possible that the squad will be able to compete with the other favourites and title contenders, but it will take a sizable effort.
PFC Arda Kardzhali are a relatively new addition to the First League, having won their play-off match at the end of the 2018/19 season where they secured promotion to the First League for the very first time in the club’s history. Crucially, the team has been pretty consistent over the past two seasons since their promotion, as they finished in a respectable 4th position during the regular season last year. Arda have put on quite the show for their fans in the past, and they might be looking to improve upon their form for the 2021/22 season, but competing for the title is likely a step too far.
FC Pirin Blagoevgrad are one of the teams recently promoted from the Second League for the 2021/22 season in the top-flight division. It is often difficult for newly promoted teams to get going in the top division, and many newly promoted teams could risk relegation back to the lower division. FC Pirin have had an underwhelming start to the 2021/22 season as they currently sit bottom of the table. Although there is still plenty of time left in the season for the team to improve, they could be hard-pressed when pitted against stronger squads.
CSKA 1948 had a reasonable end to the 2020/21 season as they finished the regular season in 5th position. The middle of the table last season was very compact, and they could have easily finished lower as the competition was fierce. So far this season, however, CSKA 1948 have not had the best of starts. They currently sit near the bottom of the table and in the relegation zone.
Tsarko Selo Sofia is another team that experienced a reasonable end to their 2020/21 season as they managed to secure 8th place in the table by the end of the regular season. Tsarko Selo Sofia have not made many significant developments to the depth of their squad for the 2021/22 season, and as such, they could potentially struggle to compete with the other teams in the league. Tsarko Selo Sofia is currently sitting near the bottom of the table for the start of the 2021/22 season and inside the relegation zone.
Prediction for Top Goalscorer
Jordy Caceido is currently the no.9 forward for CSKA Sofia and has made an instant impact for the team since signing from Clube Vitória in 2021. So far, Caceido has made 19 appearances for CSKA Sofia and has produced 11 goals. Currently, this season, Caceido is the top goalscorer as he currently sits on 4 goals as he opened his goal-scoring account against CSKA 1948 in the first week of the new season.
The Brazilian winger Marquinhos, currently on loan to Botev Plovdiv from Atlético Mineiro, could have a good opportunity to be the First League’s top goalscorer for the 2021/22 season. Having made 15 appearances for Botev Plovdiv, Marquinhos has 4 goals to his name with 3 goals so far this season. Marquinhos is currently in joint 2nd position in the top goalscorer’s table and is a contender for top spot.
The no.10 attacker from the Netherlands has already made an impact for his side Ludogorets when he joined back in 2020. From 26 appearances for the club, Manu has bagged himself 7 goals, and is currently joint 2nd in the scoring charts. Ludogorets, have a strong and competitive squad in most areas of the field, which could give Manu the chance to add to his tally over the course of the season and possibly end it as the league’s overall top goalscorer.
Iliev started his senior career at Lokomotiv Plovdiv back in 2004 and returned to the club in 2018 where he has racked up 37 goals in 93 appearances. A strong attacking player, Iliev is another player who is currently in joint 2nd position in the top goalscorer’s table with 3 goals.
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Our Bulgarian First League betting tips are compiled by experts who know what they are doing. All our predictions and free betting tips are researched and supported by statistics.
You’ll be able to find Bulgarian First Professional Football League betting tips from our expert tipsters for all games, especially big derbies involving top teams like Ludogorets, CSKA Sofia, and Lokomotiv Plovdiv. Predictions and free betting tips will be available for all the biggest matches in Bulgaria’s top division.
Bulgarian First Professional Football League betting tips and predictions can be found each day, most commonly on the day before a match or on the day of kick-off. These betting tips are free thanks to our expert tipsters.
The outright league winner is easily the most popular betting market for the Bulgarian First Professional Football League. Although Ludogorets are strong favourites, they could still offer decent betting value.
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- FC Arda Kardzhali – Arena Arda
- PFC Beroe – Stadion Beroe
- Botev Plovdiv – Sporten Kompleks Botev
- Botev Vratsa – Hristo Botev Stadium
- PFC Cherno More Varna – Stadion Ticha
- CSKA 1948 – Vasil Levski National Stadium
- PFC CSKA Sofia – Stadion Balgarska Armia
- PFC Levski Sofia – Vivacom Arena - Georgi Asparuhov (Stadion Georgi Asparuhov)
- PFC Lokomotiv Plovdiv – Stadion Lokomotiv
- FC Lokomotiv 1929 Sofia – Stadion Lokomotiv Sofia
- PFC Ludogorets Razgrad – Huvepharma Arena
- Pirin Blagoevgrad – Hristo Botev
- PFC Slavia Sofia – Stadion Slavia
- FC Tsarsko Selo – Arena Tsarsko Selo
This season has started in exciting fashion with the usual suspects making strong starts. There is so little to separate the top sides and there are certainly plenty of betting opportunities to make a tidy profit We may not be able to guarantee winners, but we can guarantee well-informed betting advice and research. Despite an early defeat, Ludogorets are likely to end up on top come the end of the season.