Our prediction for this match:
2022 World Cup hosts Qatar take on Bulgaria in a friendly at Education City Stadium in AL Rayyan. Qatar have big ambitions for the upcoming showpiece tournament, and they will surely give 100% to prepare in the best way possible for their opener. A man to watch in the home team will be Hassan Al-Haydos, who has netted 33 goals in 161 appearances for the national team.
The Bulgarians, on the other hand, missed out on a place at the World Cup finals, with the team collecting only 8 points in the qualifiers. Since Yasen Petrov’s troops are not regarded as good travelers, we are tempted to put our money on the Asian side. It has to be noted that the two sides have never met before on the international stage. A man to watch in the away side will be Ludogorets attacker Kiril Despodov.
Highlighted Player (Abdelkarim Hassan):
Abdelkarim Hassan is a Qatar international who plays for domestic club Al-Sadd as a defender. Hassan is a product of Al-Sadd football academy, but it has to be noted that he played for Belgian side Eupen during the 2017/2018 season. The 186-cm-tall footballer has five caps for Qatar U20 and 17 caps for Qatar U23 national team respectively and he made his senior debut for the Maroons on November 18, 2010 against Haiti.
Abdelkarim Hassan was the youngest footballer to appear in the 2011 Asian Cup preliminary squad (17 years and 123 days old). Hassan scored one goal in six appearances for Qatar at the 2019 Asian Cup where the Maroons won the title thanks to a routine win over Japan in the final of the tournament. Left-back is considered his main position, but the Al-Sadd footballer plays as both left midfielder and right-back as well. His preferred foot is left.
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.