Ireland v Bulgaria, 7.45pm, RTE 2 and Sky Sport
Ireland and Bulgaria meet at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday evening in an international friendly.
Let’s look at Bulgaria first. They travel to Dublin on the back of a heavy loss to England at Wembley in the Euro 2020 qualifiers. Gareth Southgates men running out ways 4-0 winners. They are managed by former player Krasimir Balakov, however he wouldn’t be haply with his side 32% percent and just 4 shots against England.
However, in saying that Ireland are no world beaters. They stuttered to wins over Gibraltar (twice) and then Georgia. They drew with Switzerland in fairness though last week in a never give up attitude which was great to see. I expect McCarthy to play a lot of players to get experience at international level. The football Ireland play isn’t great to watch isn’t very attacking but it works at times. The smart money would be on Ireland to turnover the Bulgarians on Tuesday.
However, when you look at the head to heads between the sides in recent years then nothing has separated them. The last three meetings have ended in 1-1 draws. Therefore that would be probably be the bet of the night if you like your statistics.
Mick McCarthy will almost certainly be without Callum Robinson and Dave McGoldrick who are both injured. Richard Keogh is likely to be back in contention after shaking off an injury sustained in the draw with Switzerland.
The odds have Ireland as favourites at 8/13 with Bulgaria priced at 4/1 which is massive odds. The one I like is for a 1-1 draw at 11/2. Under 2.5 at odds of 6/10 would also have to be considered.