Our prediction for this World Cup 2022 match:
After impressing at EURO 2020, European champions Italy will be aiming to give fans yet another reason for celebration when they take on Bulgaria on Thursday evening. The Azzurri are eyeing their fourth consecutive win in Group C, and the bookies see them as hot favourites to win the match. Zaniolo returns to contention after recovering from a serious injury, while Scamaka has received his first call-up.
Full-back Spinazzola, on the other hand, remains on the sidelines through injury. As always, in-form Lazio attacker Ciro Immobile will lead the line for Roberto Mancini’s troops. The Bulgarians continue to struggle in qualifiers for major tournaments. The underdogs have collected only one point in total in the process, and we do not believe that they are capable of spoiling Italy’s party at Stadio Artemio Franchi. Midfielder Georgi Kostadinov has overcome his injury.
Highlighted Player (Leonardo Bonucci):
Over the years Leonardo Bonucci has established himself as one of Juve’s key defenders. The 190-cm-tall centre back, who is capable of playing as a right back as well, was born in Viterbo on 1 May, 1987 and he started his senior career at Inter. However, he made no more than one league appearance for the Nerrazzurri between 2005 and 2009.
After ending his loan spells with the likes of Treviso and Pisa, he joined Bari in 2009 and he scored one goal in 38 league games for the club. Juventus signed him in July, 2010 for a fee of €15.5 million. Leonardo Bonucci won his fifth Scudetto with Juve in the 2015/2016 season and he played in the 2014/2015 Champions League final against Barcelona. However, the Bianconeri were beaten by Barca in the title game.
Bonucci made his Italy debut on 3 March, 2010 and two years later he participated in the Euro 2012 final against Spain. The Azzurri were hammered by Vicente del Bosque’s troops 4-0 in the Olympic Stadium clash.
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.