Vasil Levski National Stadium - Euro 2020 Qualification
England must improve on their disappointing performance against the Czech Republic when they head to Bulgaria for Monday’s Euro 2020 qualifier. The Three Lions lost a long-standing record with a poor showing in Prague on Friday, while this game could be feisty after a controversial build-up.
England spanked Bulgaria 4-0 when the teams met at Wembley just over a year ago, with Harry Kane netting two penalties on his way to a hat-trick, and Raheem Sterling also on target. That was the first meeting between the countries since qualification for Euro 2012, when England also won 4-0 at home before securing a 3-0 victory in the return.
Gareth Southgate picked an incredibly youthful side against the Czech Republic, with the likes on Mason Mount and Jadon Sancho hoping for another start here. Ross Barkley and Marcus Rashford are pushing for recalls though, while Trent Alexander-Arnold will hope for a start and Tammy Abraham for more minutes.
The Bulgarian squad also has an inexperienced feel to it, with captain Ivelin Popov the only player who boasts more than 40 caps. Only eight of the 23-man squad ply their trade outside Bulgaria, including 22-year-old Sturm Graz attacking prospect, Kiril Despodov.
Bulgaria v England Preview and Predictions
The build-up to this game has been marred with controversy surrounding Bulgaria’s racism charges and the riposte aimed at England concerning the Premier League’s recent issues with racism and the hooligan past that continues to taint the Three Lions. Here though, we’re looking to turn the money into your betting wallet into as much profit as possible.
With that in mind, the smart money goes on the away team, despite their poor performance on Friday. Gareth Southgate’s side were uncharacteristically sloppy in possession against the Czechs, while their usual zip and verve was completely lacking. England failed to exert any control over the game, and although there were some improvements in the second half, the Three Lions lost their first tournament qualifier in 43 games and 10 years.
Bulgaria’s goalless draw in Montenegro on Friday means they can no longer qualify directly for Euro 2020, although there’s still a chance they could make the play-offs. After a comprehensive defeat against England earlier in the campaign though, that appears very unlikely here. The visitors are the huge favourites in the betting at 3/11, while Bulgaria are out at 22/1 and the draw is 7/1.
England to win to nil at 20/21
Southgate’s side have been poor at the back in their last two matches but this fixture gives the English defence the perfect opportunity to tighten up, with Bulgaria struggling for goals.
England to win 3-0 at 13/2
After a 4-0 victory earlier in this qualifying campaign, England have the attacking players to put a few past their hosts on Monday, while this scoreline would mirror the result the last time the Three Lions visited Bulgaria.