9/3/20 2:45 pm
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Bulgaria is welcoming Ireland to National Stadium Vasil Levski in round 1 in the UEFA Nations League.
Bulgaria is a bad, bad team, and they have won only 1 of their last 14 games. In the Euro Cup qualifications, Bulgaria has won only 6 points, scored only 6 goals, and conceded massive 17 goals. Bulgaria was far from the Euro Cup, in 4th place in their group. In their last match in the qualifications, Bulgaria has had only 31% of ball possession, 2 shots on goal, 3 corner kicks, and low 61% of the correct passes. Despite being the weaker team in the match, Bulgaria was defending well, and they were rewarded by winning this match 1-0. Bulgaria is in 59th place in the FIFA standings, but they are in a free fall as Bulgaria is struggling massively, and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Dermendzhiev is the head coach in Bulgaria since October of 2019, but he hasn’t improved the team at all. Of course, not everything can be blamed on the head coach because the Bulgarian Soccer Association is no longer investing in youth development, and Bulgarian Parva Liga is getting weaker with every passing season. I don’t see Bulgaria becoming a better team anytime soon.
Ireland was fantastic during the Euro Cup qualifications, but unfortunately for them, they were 3 points short. Ireland ended the qualifications in 3rd place with 13 points, 7 scored goals, and only 5 conceded goals. Ireland has lost only 1 of their last 12 games, and because of that, Ireland is in the 34th place in the FIFA standings. There are a few good players in Ireland that are playing in the EPL, players like Coleman, Doherty, Long, and McCarthy, but it wasn’t enough to qualify for the Euro Cup. In their last match in the qualifications against Denmark, Ireland was the better team with 52% of ball possession, 3 shots on goal, 8 corner kicks, and 78% of the correct passes. Ireland needed the win here, but they conceded a goal in the 73rd minute, and everything seemed over for Ireland. In the 85th minute, Ireland scored a tying goal, and there was hope once again. Unfortunately for Ireland, they weren’t able to score a winning goal, and this match ended in a 1-1 draw. Mick McCarthy has been Ireland’s head coach since November of 2018, and he has done some fantastic teams with this team, but he will not be leading this game. After a few years of struggling, Ireland is back on the European soccer map, and it won’t be long before Ireland qualifies for one of the big competitions.
Bulgaria has had success against Ireland at home, but I just don’t see them winning this match. This could be a rough and hard game for both teams, and I would give a slight advantage to Ireland, but I have a feeling this match might end in a draw, and I will trust my feeling.