Our prediction for this Nations League match:
Following three consecutive wins in UEFA Nations League, Bulgaria suffered a 1-0 loss to Norway in their last group game. The Bulgarians are level on points with first-placed Norway ahead of the trip to Nicosia, meaning that this game is of big importance for the visitors. Petar Hubschev’s men are determined to return to winning ways and we predict that they are going to adopt an attack-minded approach in Friday’s football match. Cyprus have slim chances of securing a top-two finish, meaning that the visitors want this win more than the hosts. A man to watch in the away side will be CSKA Sofia attacker Kiril Despodov, who is likely to prove a handful for the opposition back-line. When the two teams met in Sofia earlier in the process the Bulgarians emerged triumphant, which is yet another reason why away win should be considered.
Highlighted Player (Georgios Efrem):
Born in Limassol, Cyprus on 5 July, 1989 Georgios Efrem played for his hometown club Apollon Limassol during his youth career, but in 2004 he joined Premier League club Arsenal at the age of 15. In 2007 he moved to Rangers, but he didn’t see any game action with the Gers at senior level.
The pacey winger, who is capable of playing as an attacking midfielder as well, returned to Cyprus in 2009, signing a deal with Omonia. After scoring 25 goals in 134 league appearances for the club, the 171-cm-tall footballer joined fellow Cypriot outfit APOEL on 6 June, 2014. Efrem made his debut for the club against Helsinki on 30 July, 2014 in the Europa League qualifying match.
It has to be noted that he was named the best player of the 2015/2016 Cypriot First Division campaign. The APOEL winger made his Cyprus debut on 3 March, 2010 in a goalless draw with Iceland. Four years later he scored his first ever hat-trick for the Cypriot national team in a 5-0 triumph over Andorra.
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.