Our prediction for this match:
After sharing the spoils with Switzerland in their Euro 2020 qualifying match, Republic of Ireland will be looking to return to winning ways when they host Bulgaria at their Aviva Stadium on Tuesday evening. The Boys in Green have been producing fine performances in the qualifiers and, as a result, they are on the right track to book their place at the next year’s showpiece tournament.
Republic of Ireland coach Mick McCarthy is likely to use upcoming friendly to rest key players, therefore, we do not believe that there is a big value in betting on the hosts. Bulgaria, on the other hand, who have yet to record a win in the Euro 2020 qualifiers, are determined to grab something from Tuesday’s friendly. A close encounter is on the cards in Dublin and we predict that the two teams are going to share the spoils in their first meeting since 2009.
Highlighted Player (Shane Long):
Shane Long is an Irish international striker who has so far made over 60 appearances for the Republic of Ireland national team, scoring more than 15 goals in the process. The forward began his professional career at Cork City, but only made one league appearance for the club ahead of the switch to Reading, where he would go on to spend next seven years.
During that time, Long established himself as one of the best Irish strikers plying their trade in England, and also went on to represent West Bromwich Albion, Hull City and Southampton.
Despite not exactly boasting an enviable goalscoring record for a centre forward, Long was always held in high regard by both managers and his peers, with his incredible work rate and never-say-die attitude winning him plenty of admirers. Long will also go down as one of the most prolific scorers in the history of the Republic of Ireland national team, which he represented at the Euro 2012 and Euro 2016 finals.
Highlighted Team (Bulgaria):
Bulgaria national football team are well known for their “Golden generation” of players led by Hristo Stoichkov. The Bulgarian football legend was producing thrilling performances for the national team at the 1994 FIFA World Cup in USA and he helped the Lions make it to the semi-finals of the tournament.
The likes of Trifon Ivanov, Krasimir Balakov and Yordan Letchkov enjoyed a very successful tournament as well and, no doubt, they recorded a historical result at the 1994 FIFA World Cup. The Bulgarians defeated Germany in the quarter-finals, but Italy proved to be a big catch for Dimitar Penev’s team. Bulgaria eventually suffered a heavy loss to Sweden in the third-place playoffs. Nowadays, Bulgaria struggle in qualifiers for major tournaments and it has to be noted that they have not participated at the finals since 1994.
Vasil Levski National Stadium is considered Bulgaria’s home ground and the capacity of the stadium is 43.320. Bulgaria wear white shirts, green shorts and white socks when playing at home, whilst green and red are their second colours.