Kick-off: 1945, 12/10/2021
Stadium: Vasil Levski National Stadium
TV: Sky Sports
Northern Ireland need a bit of a miracle to advance from World Cup Group C but are value to keep their slim hopes alive with a win in Bulgaria.
Ian Baraclough’s side were held to a goalless draw when these teams met in Belfast back in March but were much the better team at Windsor Park.
They had 70 per cent of the possession, won 12 corners compared to conceding just two and finished 14-3 ahead in attempts on goal.
The visitors have proven they can perform on the road, so 2/1 for an away win is tempting from the Bulgaria vs Northern Ireland odds.
A Look At Bulgaria’s Betting Odds
Bulgaria are level with Northern Ireland on five points, toiling behind Italy and Switzerland in this section.
Yasen Petrov’s side enjoyed a good international break last month, starting out by drawing with the Azzurri in Florence.
The Lions then edged out Lithuania 1-0 at this venue before beating Georgia 4-1 in a friendly here.
However, the fear is that Saturday’s 3-1 loss to Lithuania in Vilnius may have knocked the stuffing out of them.
Unlike the days of Dimitar Berbatov, Hristo Stoichkov and Stylian Petrov, Bulgaria lack big names to build their team around.
Only Ivaylo Chochev of the current squad has scored more than three international goals and he is just one above that mark.
We’re adding 13/4 for an away win by any one-goal margin to our Bulgaria vs Northern Ireland betting tips.
A Look At Northern Ireland’s Betting Odds
Northern Ireland also did well in this pool last month, winning 4-1 away to Lithuania and drawing 0-0 with Switzerland in Belfast.
There was also a 1-0 friendly success in Estonia, adding to May’s 3-0 triumph over Malta in Austria when nothing was at stake.
Saturday’s 2-0 defeat in Switzerland, which gave us a trio of successful selections, all but dashed hopes of a top-two finish.
However, the hugely-controversial 37th-minute dismissal of Jamal Lewis via a second yellow card for time-wasting turned that contest.
In between conceding at the end of each half, Northern Ireland defended stoically and Bailey Peacock-Farrell made a string of impressive saves.
“You can’t knock the spirit or the camaraderie, the togetherness of the team,” Baraclough said.
“We knew we would leave gaps the longer the game went on but they’ve given absolutely everything, they’ve put bodies on the line.”
There is little chance of the men in green throwing in the towel and we believe they can shade what promises to be a tight tussle.
Our final Bulgaria vs Northern Ireland prediction is 23/4 for Draw HT/Northern Ireland FT.
Lithuania 3-1 BULGARIA – Despodov
Switzerland 2-0 NORTHERN IRELAND
Head-to-head: Northern Ireland 0-0 Bulgaria, Northern Ireland 0-1 Bulgaria, Northern Ireland 0-1 Bulgaria
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