Skip to content
The View from the Opposition: CSKA Sofia

We speak to a local journalist to learn a bit more about Thursday's Europa League opponents CSKA Sofia...

Angel Domuschiev is the chief editor of Topsport.bg, one of the main sports websites in Bulgaria.

With an affection for CSKA Sofia, Domuschiev is the perfect man to discuss Thursday's visitors to the Stadio Olimpico - especially after they fired coach Stamen Belchev this week.

Here's what Domuschiev had to say about the team heading into the showdown in the Italian capital...

Why have CSKA Sofia decided to sack their manager now?

“Because the team has not won for seven games in a row. Stamen Belchev did a good job: he got CSKA in the group stages of the Europa League for the first time in 10 years, they beat Basel away from home too. But in the league things did not work out for them.

"As you well know, if the big teams aren't winning then usually it is the coach that pays the price first. But everyone at CSKA is grateful for the work he did, and that win in Basel. He will be remembered."

Stamen Belchev with club captain Valentin Antov (@cska.bg)

What are the team’s current problems?

“The lack of victories. CSKA allows a goal, or a few goals, in almost every match. At the same time, it is difficult for them to score at the other end. It's a bit strange, because the squad is a good one. But CSKA seems to be performing better in the Europa League than domestically right now."

What are the strengths of the team?

“CSKA has very strong players on both wings. Fast and technical players are fighting for the places there, players like Georgi Yomov, Jules Keita and Jerome Sinclair, a former Liverpool player.

"Central striker Ali Sow, who played in Italy, is also very good. He is the team's top scorer in the Europa League. He has good movement, holds the ball up well, and he helps out defensively too. The other standout is probably attacking midfielder Tiago."

What formation and tactics do you think will be used on Thursday?

“The new coach has not been officially announced yet. There's a strong chance it will be Belchev's assistant - Daniel Morales. He's Brazilian, and also a former CSKA player himself.

"I strongly doubt that CSKA will start with two strikers. Maybe it will be in a 4-5-1 system, with two wingers, Sow as the central striker, and three midfielders. One of them is Tiago, who scored two goals for Basel in the 3-1 victory. But, of course, when there is a new coach it is difficult to predict the system and tactics.

"Even so, it is unlikely that CSKA will compete with a team like Roma. They will rely on counterattacks and speed from the flanks."

Tiago celebrates a goal (@cskasofiaofficial)

Which is the CSKA Sofia player that Roma should keep an eye on most?

“I have already said his name a few times, but I'll say it again: Tiago. And I will add to that left-back Bradley Maziku. He's a very good football player, fast and dangerous in attack as well."

Tell us something about Valentin Antov, the youngest captain in the group stage of Europa League.

“He is the jewel of CSKA. The youth of the club. He started playing for the first team and became captain at the age of 14. A versatile footballer - can play both as a central defender and as a defensive midfielder.

"UEFA was in Bulgaria to make a film about him and the other young CSKA players recently. Our expectations are that one day, soon, he will continue his career in a big team from Western Europe."

Which Roma player would CSKA Sofia supporters prefer not to play against on Thursday?

“Maybe your whole team! ​​Roma is Roma - one of the European greats. We will all be happy if you give a break to your leading players and rely on some of the younger ones. But they will want to prove themselves too… It is clear to all of us it will be very difficult for CSKA in Rome."

What is your prediction for the match?

“I hope CSKA will repeat their performance from the match with Basel. Then I was optimistic and I knew that the Bulgarian team would win; now I am a realist and I simply hope for a good game on the part of CSKA.

"It would be great if the team could score a goal against Roma. One thing is for sure - CSKA has respect for Roma but will not surrender without a fight, as we like to say in Bulgaria."

 
Created with sketchtool. Icons/Arrow/1000 Icons/Arrow/1000 Icon / Social / Android@3x Created with Sketch. Icon / Social / iOS@3x Created with Sketch. echllogoeps Created with Sketch. Group 18 Copy Created with Sketch. 53079FE7-D159-40A0-8A83-26281B0D3D33 Created with sketchtool. 976DC860-943B-432F-9E9C-CB9AC395B97F Created with sketchtool. 172C4F03-2B22-49FE-A880-A4C1985B19F7 Created with sketchtool. 53079FE7-D159-40A0-8A83-26281B0D3D33 Created with sketchtool. 976DC860-943B-432F-9E9C-CB9AC395B97F Created with sketchtool. 172C4F03-2B22-49FE-A880-A4C1985B19F7 Created with sketchtool. 45E49ECC-5769-44F4-97EA-EDE23E5CB428 Created with sketchtool. CC731668-0119-48B2-B401-BACA731EA471 Created with sketchtool. 0CCDF29C-1F7C-4F46-921A-EC230ACEE372 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 86A6C4DD-D877-4C22-A527-8B9666AA9DD0 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 42E886A7-7224-4FDC-BBEB-01976002C351 Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. 40C8A19E-A06F-4836-ABD8-C5AE68BC33DB Created with sketchtool. 763B01E1-3D00-402A-B0C3-1DD729BBA531 Created with sketchtool. 644E21E0-3CB1-4F6B-B321-22391C0CD429 Created with sketchtool. team-logo / WIN Created with Sketch. team-logo / PW Created with Sketch. team-logo / LOST Created with Sketch. team-logo / PL Created with Sketch. 0CCDF29C-1F7C-4F46-921A-EC230ACEE372 Created with sketchtool. 033561FA-5AC5-424E-BFCB-752595AE0B20 Created with sketchtool. 45E49ECC-5769-44F4-97EA-EDE23E5CB428 Created with sketchtool. CC731668-0119-48B2-B401-BACA731EA471 Created with sketchtool. 0CCDF29C-1F7C-4F46-921A-EC230ACEE372 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 86A6C4DD-D877-4C22-A527-8B9666AA9DD0 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 53079FE7-D159-40A0-8A83-26281B0D3D33 Created with sketchtool. 976DC860-943B-432F-9E9C-CB9AC395B97F Created with sketchtool. 172C4F03-2B22-49FE-A880-A4C1985B19F7 Created with sketchtool. 45E49ECC-5769-44F4-97EA-EDE23E5CB428 Created with sketchtool. CC731668-0119-48B2-B401-BACA731EA471 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 86A6C4DD-D877-4C22-A527-8B9666AA9DD0 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 42E886A7-7224-4FDC-BBEB-01976002C351 Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. 40C8A19E-A06F-4836-ABD8-C5AE68BC33DB Created with sketchtool. 763B01E1-3D00-402A-B0C3-1DD729BBA531 Created with sketchtool. 644E21E0-3CB1-4F6B-B321-22391C0CD429 Created with sketchtool. 033561FA-5AC5-424E-BFCB-752595AE0B20 Created with sketchtool. 45E49ECC-5769-44F4-97EA-EDE23E5CB428 Created with sketchtool. CC731668-0119-48B2-B401-BACA731EA471 Created with sketchtool. 763B01E1-3D00-402A-B0C3-1DD729BBA531 Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. 40C8A19E-A06F-4836-ABD8-C5AE68BC33DB Created with sketchtool. 763B01E1-3D00-402A-B0C3-1DD729BBA531 Created with sketchtool. 644E21E0-3CB1-4F6B-B321-22391C0CD429 Created with sketchtool. 7CB4E955-9512-49F4-B03B-933CF03CA2FD Created with sketchtool. 53079FE7-D159-40A0-8A83-26281B0D3D33 Created with sketchtool. 976DC860-943B-432F-9E9C-CB9AC395B97F Created with sketchtool. 172C4F03-2B22-49FE-A880-A4C1985B19F7 Created with sketchtool. 45E49ECC-5769-44F4-97EA-EDE23E5CB428 Created with sketchtool. CC731668-0119-48B2-B401-BACA731EA471 Created with sketchtool. 0CCDF29C-1F7C-4F46-921A-EC230ACEE372 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 86A6C4DD-D877-4C22-A527-8B9666AA9DD0 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 42E886A7-7224-4FDC-BBEB-01976002C351 Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. 40C8A19E-A06F-4836-ABD8-C5AE68BC33DB Created with sketchtool. 763B01E1-3D00-402A-B0C3-1DD729BBA531 Created with sketchtool. 644E21E0-3CB1-4F6B-B321-22391C0CD429 Created with sketchtool. 033561FA-5AC5-424E-BFCB-752595AE0B20 Created with sketchtool. 033561FA-5AC5-424E-BFCB-752595AE0B20 Created with sketchtool. Icons/Search/1000 F3916FC0-768E-4027-A1D5-CC66110459CF Created with sketchtool. Play Artboard 1 icon-dropdown icon-dropdown Created with Sketch. CB_Linked_Icon_Close CB_Linked_Icon_Close Check Check F896540F-C96F-4488-888D-5ECB022F43CE Created with sketchtool. Icons/Attachment/1000 Created with Sketch. CB_Linked_Icon_Arrow CB_Linked_Icon_Arrow CB_Linked_Icon_Arrow