155 total views, 2 views today
Northern Ireland have travelled to Bulgaria for their sixth World Cup qualifier of the campaign at the Vasil Levski National Stadium in Sofia on Tuesday night.
Northern Ireland fell to Switzerland last time out in a 2-0 defeat which saw left-back Jamal Lewis receive his marching orders in a controversial fashion with a second yellow card in the first half for time-wasting.
The side were dominated on the ball and created very little against a Swiss side that took 27 shots.
Bulgaria are looking to bounce back from shock 3-1 loss to Lithuania in Vilnius – the Green and White Army won 4-1 on their travels to the Eastern European country.
The two teams are level on points in Group C and Ian Baraclough’s away side will be hoping to get some breathing room in third.
Bulgaria sit in fourth on a worse goal difference of -5, while Steven Davis and co. benefit from their -1 differential.
Northern Ireland were held to a goalless draw by Bulgaria in Belfast in March and another close encounter is expected on Tuesday night.
Jonny Evans has not joined the squad due to an illness on top of his long-standing foot injury that he suffered in the FA Cup final.
Bulgaria, on the other hands, have all players at their disposal for the World Cup qualifier clash.
Both sides are hoping to earn their second win of the campaign and lead the race for third place.
A win will all but eliminate the loser – Switzerland play Lithuania this evening.
Bulgaria – last match (4-4-2): Lukov; Bozhikov, Hristov, Hristov, Antov; Despotev, Vitanov, Malinov, Nedelev; Iliev, Yomov.
Northern Ireland (5-4-1): Peacock-Farrell; Bradley, Ballard, Cathcart, Flanagan, Ferguson; Dallas, Davis, Magennis, Saville; Washington.
Northern Ireland 9/5
Where To Watch
The game will kick-off at 7:45 pm and will be available to watch live on Sky Sports Football with coverage starting at 7:30 pm.