2020-21 UEFA Nations League: Republic of Ireland vs Bulgaria

Republic of Ireland face a difficult relegation decider as they welcome Bulgaria to Aviva Stadium, Dublin, in 2020-21 UEFA Nations League B4.

Victory or a draw would be enough for Republic of Ireland to survive whilst Bulgaria must simply win if want to avoid relegation to League C.

 

Team News

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Adam Idah is ruled out for Republic of Ireland through injury whilst Jeff Hendrick and Jayson Molumby are suspended for this match.

Matt Doherty and James McClean also miss out after positive Coronavirus tests, forcing Stephen Kenny to call up four replacements in Peterborough’s Jack Taylor, Millwall’s Troy Parrott and Shamrock Rovers duo – Aaron McEneff and Graham Burke.

Bulgaria have a near full squad available for selection but Hristiyan Vasilev, Vasil Bozhikov and Dimitar Velkovski have withdrawn from the squad following positive Coronavirus tests.

 

Stat Attack

  • Republic Of Ireland are unbeaten in last six meetings against Bulgaria across all competitions (W2, D4).
  • Bulgaria are yet to win an away match against Ireland (D3, L3) in all competitions.
  • Four of Ireland’s last five meetings against Bulgaria across all competitions have finished in 1-1 draws.

 

Prediction

Despite suffering another defeat on Sunday in Wales, Ireland did produce a more pressing performance than saw against England last Thursday but yet lacked that clinical finishing quality because at times, some of the players could of perhaps tried to stretch the Welsh defence with backward play to allow other players to get up and create opportunities for sharp finishing from close rage instead.

Bulgaria on the other hand have simply been poor defensively in their Nations League matches this season whilst Ireland have been unlucky to not collect more points through momentary lapses, which could well mean that this is a huge opportunity for Ireland to avoid relegation because survival mathematics are in their hands.

Finding that finishing touch to go with their solid performances though will be crucial but I genuinely can’t see Bulgaria offering much here given their poor away form in Ireland.

Prediction: ROI 2-0 Bulgaria

Result: ROI 0-0 Bulgaria

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