Blues facing prolific Sofia keeper tonig

IT is no secret that the Blues strike force are a pretty formidable trio but they will be hoping not to be outshone on the goal front tonight by Levski Sofia's high-scoring keeper Dimitar Ivankov.

IT is no secret that the Blues strike force are a pretty formidable trio but they will be hoping not to be outshone on the goal front tonight by Levski Sofia's high-scoring keeper Dimitar Ivankov, writes Derek Davis.

A target of Hibernian a couple of years ago and Spartak Moscow earlier this summer the Levski keeper has banged in 25 career goals, all from the penalty spot.

Ivankov is a huge fan of English football and has admitted he would love to play in this country, though reports elsewhere of a Town interest were wide of the mark.

The last time Levski played English opposition they lost 3-0 and 2-0 to Chelsea in the UEFA Cup two seasons ago.


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But manager Georgi Todorov holds Ipswich Town in such high regard he has flown his team especially to England for this one-off encounter.

He said: "This friendly will be very helpful to our team, which is why I accepted to fly to Ipswich just for a single game. We will meet a prestigious team with quite a big history.

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"English football is top class, no matter who is the opponent of the day and I'm convinced that there will be a lot of supporters at the stadium.

"Ipswich may be in the First Division now, but they had some great results in the past couple of years. They even played in Europe, winning a home game against Inter, although I'm still catching up on who all their current players are."

Levski spent their summer training camp in a Rila Mountain resort in Bulgaria as they prepare for the start of their league next week and the UEFA Cup qualifying round against Kazakhstan contenders Atyrau.

Todorov said: "It is important that our team grows and the players fit well together. As for our chances of winning, although it is just a friendly game, I would have to put my team up as favourites, no matter who we play against."

One former Levski favourite, Trinidad & Tobago international Brent Rahim, has also sampled life in English football after a spell with West Ham reserves and then Northampton.

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