Monday, February 24, 2020

Prediction: Ireland vs Bulgaria

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 9 Sep 2019


Verdict: Home team wins

Best odds: 3/4

Bookmaker: 888Sport

Republic of Ireland and Bulgaria have taken the rest of the current international break to test themselves against each other without the edge of a competition, but it’s still important for both teams to maintain the team chemistry for as long as they can. The friendly game is scheduled for Tuesday evening at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

Republic of Ireland

Set in the Euro 2020 qualifications group D, Ireland are enjoying a very good campaign so far. After five games in which they haven’t yet been defeated, they top the group with 11 points which they booked by beating Gibraltar twice, as well as Georgia at home. Meanwhile, they drew away to Denmark and at home against Switzerland.

The group promises to develop into a proper threeway race between Ireland, Denmark and Switzerland, and it’ll certainly be worth keeping an eye on.

Team News

Coach Mick McCarthy was forced to pull out strikers David McGoldrick and Callum Robinson during the game against Switzerland due to injuries, and both strikers have therefore pulled out of the squad as there really isn’t any need to risk them in a friendly clash. McGoldrick has returned to England to receive treatment of his shoulder injury, while Robinson felt a hamstring strain.

The manager is very likely to use this opportunity to make changes and try a few ideas out.


Bulgaria’s campaign, however, could not have been more different to that of Ireland. The Eastern Balkan country sits bottom of group A with a meagre catch of two points, despite being the only team in the group to have already played five matches. All they managed to do so far is draw at home against Montenegro and away to Kosovo in the opening two rounds. Since then, they’ve been beaten in the Czech Republic, at home by Kosovo, and hammered last week in England.

There is a long way to go yet, but their chances of reaching Euro 2020 already seem lost.

Team News

It’s never a pleasant sight to behold when a national team plummets from respectable heights into dark moments. The days of Hristo Stoitchkov and Dimitar Berbatov are long gone for the Bulgarians, and these days they mostly rely on players from their domestic league to try and make a difference.

Like McCarthy for Ireland, manager Krasimir Balakov is also likely to wring changes to his team, and he will be without the services of midfielder Georgi Kostadinov and striker Stanislav Kostov, both of whom are injured.


It’s always difficult to call a friendly game in advance due to the many possible changes to the teams playing, but it really feels there can only be one direction in which this match is going to go. The Irish are flying high at the moment, and whoever takes to the pitch on Tuesday will certainly look to make himself noticed with the rest of the qualifying campaign, and possibly the European Championship next year too, in view ahead.

Verdict: Home team wins

Best odds: 3/4

Bookmaker: 888Sport


Veselin Trajkovic

Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on four different football blogs.



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