Republic of Ireland travel to Sofia to face Bulgaria in their UEFA Nations League Group B meeting on Thursday evening (7:45pm).
This will be the 12th occasion they’ve squared off against each other with Ireland leading the head-to-head 4-3 though the Boys in Green have never won away from home in four previous trips (one draw and three defeats).
Stephen Kenny is set to make his debut as Ireland manager and will be looking to create momentum as they seek a place in next summer’s European Champions via the play-offs. It’s the same for Bulgaria who go into this game having tasted four defeats across their last five home matches.
Where to watch Bulgaria vs Republic of Ireland on TV:
- UK: Sky Sports Football
- US: ESPN+, TUDNxtra 4
How to live stream Nations League: Bulgaria vs Republic of Ireland
US ONLY: Fubo* are streaming a selection of UEFA Nations League fixtures live for account holders. Those without a Fubo account already can take advantage of their seven-day free trial by following the simple steps below.
- Click on this link.
- Click ‘Start Your Free Trial’ and enter your details.
- Log in and pick your desired channel to watch.
*Geo restrictions apply. Fubo is currently available in the United States, Canada and Spain. Packages and pricing differ per country.
Bulgaria & Republic of Ireland’s previous line-ups:
- Bulgaria (vs Belarus): Georgiev; Turitsov*, Velkov*, Zanev, Goranov; Malinov; Delev, Milanov*, Tonev, Issa; Iliev.
- Republic of Ireland (vs Denmark): Randolph; Doherty, Egan,
- Duffy, Stevens; Whelan*; Browne, Hourihane, Hendrick, McClean; McGoldrick.
Ivan Turitsov, Stefan Velkov and Georgi Milanov have not been called up by Georgi Dermendzhiev for Ireland’s visit. Glenn Whelan is the only Ireland player that faced Denmark last time out missing from Stephen Kenny’s squad.
Players to watch:
- Bulgaria: If there’s one thing lacking from Georgi Dermendzhiev’s recent Bulgaria squad it’s goals. Of their 22 outfield players only seven have netted an international goal, for a combined 12 strikes, with 29-year-old defensive midfielder Georgi Kostadinov their leading marksman on three across 23 outings. He didn’t feature in their 1-0 loss to Belarus earlier this year, but is expected to play a role when Ireland visit, but the last of his three international efforts came in March 2017 meaning the Arsenal Tula man is on a 17-match goal scoring drought. But, given his role, Dermendzhiev would be more pleased if Kostadinov becomes instrumental in keeping the Irish at bay.
- Republic of Ireland: It’s hard to imagine this game will be Matt Doherty‘s tenth in the green jersey of Ireland. Last time out Tottenham’s latest signing registered his first international goal, whilst completing the full 90 minutes for only the fourth time. His most recent Premier League campaign with the ever impressive Wolves saw the Dublin-born defender score four times whilst creating three more for his teammates. He’s yet to cement his authority with the national team but that could all change in this forthcoming cycle as Stephen Kenny looks to ultimately secure a place at next summer’s European Championship.
Scoreline prediction: Bulgaria 0-2 Republic of Ireland