Bulgaria vs England


DATE: Friday 2nd September 19:15 RATING:
COMP: Euro 2012 BEST ODDS: 1.69 @ Pinnacle

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Key Points

  • England heads out to Bulgaria knowing that they cannot afford to slip up in this encounter.
    Even though England are on top of the group heading into this match but they are level on points with Montenegro and need to battle it out for automatic qualification.
    Fabio Cappello's side did beat Bulgaria 4-0 at Wembley but they cannot take things for granted after only managing a 2-2 draw against Switzerland, which many had expected them to win.
    Since that match England had not played any matches with a friendly against Holland called off due to the London riots.
    England have just two competitive games left after their meeting with Bulgaria, with Wales to come on Tuesday and a potentially top of the table clash with Montenegro away from home to come.
    Sir Alex Ferguson is not pleased by the fact that there will be at least five Manchester United players in the side. In goal we will see Joe Hart and he is the only capped goalkeeper in the 25 man squad.
    Meanwhile Darren Bent is rated doubtful after missing training with the siude last Thursday. Bent had missed the previous two days' sessions with a groin problem and he again failed to participate in the final session 24 hours prior to the game.
    This could see the return of Jermain Defoe, who scored a hat-trick against Bulgaria at Wembley a year ago.
    Another possibility is to bring on Ashley Young playing just behind Wayne Rooney - a role he has performed at club level with Manchester United.
    Cappelo also gave out indications that he could bring on Chris Smalling who could come ahead of Micah Richards and Phil Jagielka at right-back.
    Tom Cleverley could make his senior debut at some stage, but is not expected to be handed a starting role in midfield, while his Old Trafford colleague Phil Jones will also be hoping for an appearance at some point.
    The home side Bulgaria under Lothar Mattheus has included Aston Villa's Stiliyan Petrov and Bolton's Martin Petrov in their squad.
    He has however failed to persuade Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov out of retirement and help their cause.
    Take England to win and clear the 1 ball handicap.

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