Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Prediction: Bulgaria vs France

Daniel Orme in Free Soccer Predictions, World Cup 6 Oct 2017

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Verdict: France to Win and both teams to score

Best Odds: 19/10

Bookmaker: William Hill

France and Bulgaria head into the clash at the Vasil Levski National Stadium on Saturday night both harboring hopes of reaching the World Cup in Russia next year. Didier Deschamps’ men currently sit top of Group A on 17 points and a win would certainly secure their place at the tournament. Bulgaria meanwhile sit fourth, with three points going a long way in the pursuit of a play-off place.

Bulgaria

Petar Hubchev’s troops come into the clash with the European Championship finalists looking to earn two wins out of two during their final two games. The Lions currently occupy fourth position and will hope to overturn a four-point deficit to Sweden in second in order to qualify for the play-offs. The team have endured a somewhat indifferent qualification campaign though. Bulgaria have won four games, including three out of their last five clashes. They did however lose their last game 3-1 to the Netherlands, despite managing to earn a fantastic 2-0 victory over the Dutch back in March.

One thing that could give the Bulgarians some encouragement though is their excellent home record. The Lions have not lost on home soil in over two years with their last defeat coming in the form of a 1-0 defeat to Norway. They even dismissed of Sweden in their last home game during the last international break. The Bulgarian’s are in terrific goal-scoring form at home as well having netted 38 goals in their last 16 home World Cup qualifiers.

Team News

Bulgaria could be without a couple of key players for the crunch clash. Captain Ivelin Popov and Yvailo Chochev are both suspended for the match. The latter however is also injured so will not be able to take to the field in the following match against minnows Luxembourg.

France

The French national team meanwhile are in prime position to book their plane ticket to Russia. Les Blues have already earned 17 points and a win against Bulgaria would secure at least a play-off place in Group A. Didier Deschamps’ men though have only lost four out of their last 30 international clashes. However, they did only manage to toil to a 0-0 home draw with bottom side Luxembourg last time out. They also find it difficult on the road. The team have only won consecutive international fixtures on two occasions since 2015 so will be hoping to rectify that poor record against Bulgaria. As a matter of fact, they lost their last away game against Sweden and have only scored five goals in their last five clashes.

In their current qualification campaign though, the French have only lost one game in total and have only conceded an outstanding five goals in eight games. Surprisingly, they are not the top goal-scorers in their group though with Sweden and the Netherlands both finding the back of the net with more frequency.

Team News

Didier Deschamps is also without some key names for Friday’s match. Manchester United duo Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial are both not included in the squad, with the former still missing through injury. Defender Layvin Kurzawa has been replaced in the squad by the previously uncapped Jordan Amavi.

Key Facts to Consider

  • France won the last clash between the two 4-1 at the Stade de France
  • The French have the marginally better record between the two teams (W9, D4, L8)
  • The visitors could secure their place at the 2018 Russia World Cup with a win
  • Bulgaria have only ever lost to France once on home soil
  • The Bulgarians have earned six clean sheets in nine home clashes against Les Blues

Conclusion

Despite the hosts’ excellent home record both in general and against their visitors, it might just be too much of a stretch to overcome the French. Les Blues’ motivation to reach next year’s World Cup should really prove the tipping point in the clash in Sofia on Saturday night.

Bulgaria will prove to be difficult opponents though and could find the net against France’s illustrious talents.

Verdict: France to Win and both teams to score

Best Odds: 19/10

Bookmaker: William Hill

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Orme


Daniel is currently a second-year football journalism student at the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately four years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.

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