Latest posts by Brian Jeeves (see all)
Yellow Sports Brian Jeeves will be at Wembley Stadium for England’s UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier with Bulgaria at Wembley Stadium #ENGvBUL
England v Bulgaria – Preview – All you need to know:
ENGLAND hope to take another step towards UEFA Euro 2020 qualification when Bulgaria are the visitors to a sold-out Wembley Stadium on Saturday evening.
Gareth Southgate’s man has got their Group A campaign off to a flyer with a resounding 5-0 victory over the Czech Republic, followed by a 5-1 hammering of Montenegro in their own back yard, leaving them in pole position despite having played fewer games than their rivals.
Tottenham’s Harry Kane will skipper the side, while Manchester City’s Raheem Stirling – who scored four times during those opening matches – is expected to feature heavily.
Declan Rice could earn his fourth cap. The West Ham United defender has appeared in both of England’s group games so far.
Aston Villa defender, Tyrone Mings, is perhaps a surprise inclusion in the squad, while highly-rated Chelsea midfielder, Mason Mount, Leicester City’s James Maddison and Manchester United’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka are also eying up an opportunity having been selected in the squad for the first time.
Another ‘new face’ is former Southend United manager, Chris Powell, who has been handed a role in Southgate’s coaching staff. Powell – who represented England five times during a playing career most notable for spells with the Shrimpers, Derby and Charlton – left the Roots Hall club in March. He had previously managed at another former club, Charlton, as well as Huddersfield Town.
Bulgarian boss, Krassimir Balokov, has no such luxuries at his disposal as memories of that famous 1994 World Cup semi-final side, including the likes of Hristo Stoichkov, Yordan Lechkov, and Balakov himself seems a lifetime ago.
However, in captain, Ivelin Popov – who plies his trade in the Russian Premier League with Rostov – he can call upon an experienced campaigner with 84 caps to his name.
The Bulgarians arrive in the capital without a win over England in ten attempts. Their recent form isn’t good either as they find themselves without a victory in any of their four qualifying matches to date. Indeed, they are currently seven with success at this level
England squad to face Bulgaria and Kosovo
Goalkeepers: Tom Heaton (Aston Villa), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley)
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Leicester City), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Michael Keane (Everton), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Danny Rose, Tottenham Hotspur, Keiran Trippier (Club Athletico de Madrid), Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Manchester United)
Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), James Maddison (Leicester City), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool), Declan Rice (West Ham United), Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur)
Forwards: Karry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Callum Wilson (AFC Bournemouth)
Bulgarian squad to face England:
Goalkeepers: Plamen Iliev (Ludogorets Razgrad), Martin Lukov (Lokomotiv Plovdiv), Hristo Ivanov (Etar Veliko Tarnovo)
Defenders: Nikolay Bodurov (CSKA Sofia), Strahil Popov (Kasımpaşa), Vasil Bozhikov (Slovan Bratislava), Anton Nedyalkov (Ludogorets Razgrad), Georgi Terziev (Ludogorets Razgrad), Ivan Goranov (Levski Sofia), Kristian Dimitrov (Botev Plovdiv), Georgi Pashov (Ararat-Armenia)
Midfielders: Georgi Milanov (Fehérvár), Simeon Slavchev (Qarabağ)
Georgi Sarmov (Chemnitzer FC), Bozhidar Kraev (Gil Vicente), Nikolay Dimitrov (Ural Yekaterinburg), Marcelinho (Ludogorets Razgrad)
Galin Ivanov (Slavia Sofia), Kristiyan Malinov (CSKA Sofia), Vasil Panayotov (Cherno More Varna), Wanderson (Ludogorets Razgrad)
Forwards: Ivelin Popov (Captain) (Rostov), Kiril Despodov (Sturm Graz), Daniel Mladenov (Etar Veliko Tarnovo)
England v Bulgaria – Head to head:
England won: 6
Bulgaria won: 0
England v Bulgaria – Full record:
June 7, 1962 – FIFA World Cup Finals, Group Four
Bulgaria 0-0 England
December 11, 1968 – International Friendly
England 1-1 Bulgaria
June 1, 1974 – International Friendly
Bulgaria 0-1 England
June 6, 1979 – UEFA European Championship Qualifier
Bulgaria 0-3 England
November 22, 1979 – UEFA European Championship Qualifier
England 2-0 Bulgaria
March 27, 1996 – International Friendly
England 1-0 Bulgaria
October 10, 1998 – UEFA European Championship Qualifier
England 0-0 Bulgaria
June 9, 1999 – UEFA European Championship Qualifier
Bulgaria 1-1 England
September 3, 2010 – UEFA European Championship Qualifier
England 4-0 Bulgaria
September 2, 2011 – UEFA European Championship Qualifier
Bulgaria 0-3 England
Jeevesie’s prediction: England 3-0 Bulgaria