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Bulgaria vs Italy Prediction & Match Preview

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Bulgaria vs Italy Prediction & Match Preview

Bulgaria

Italy

28 March 2021 18:45 UK/ 19:45 CET World Cup Qual

Bulgaria and Italy go head to head at Nacionalen Stadion Vasil Levski in what is expected to be one of the most exciting games of Sunday’s program. 


The Bulgarians experienced all sorts of problems at the back in a 3-1 loss to Switzerland, and it is no wonder bookies see them as underdogs in the weekend qualifier. 

You should bear in mind that Bulgaria have not defeated Italy in a competitive match since April 1968 when the two teams faced each other in the EURO qualifiers.

The Azzurri, on the other hand, kicked off their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign in style, with the team beating Northern Ireland 2-0 at Stadio Ennio Tardini. 

Bulgaria are no longer considered a team to beat in the qualifiers for the showpiece tournament, meaning that Italy should not find it hard to pick up all three points from the match. 

Lazio attacker Ciro Immobile is widely expected to lead the line for the visitors.

Bulgaria vs Italy Head-to-head (h2h)

Teams Bulgaria Italy played so far 7 matches.
Bulgaria won 0 direct matches. Italy won 4 matches. 3 matches ended in a draw. On average in direct matches both teams scored a 2.14 goals per Match.

Bulgaria vs Italy Prediction

Bulgaria in actual season average scored 0.81 goals per match. In 10 (66.67%) matches played at home was total goals (team and opponent) Over 1.5 goals. In 7 (46.67%) matches in season 2021 played at home was total goals (team and opponent) Over 2.5 goals.

Italy average scored 2.17 goals per match in season 2021. In 8 (66.67%) matches played away was total goals (team and opponent) Over 1.5 goals. In 6 (50.00%) matches played away team was total goals (team and opponent) Over 2.5 goals.

Team News:

There have already been a handful of withdrawals from Roberto Mancini's original 38-man squad for the three quickfire fixtures during this international break, after Roma's Bryan Cristante and Moise Kean of Paris Saint-Germain pulled out due to injury and Chelsea's deep-lying midfielder Jorginho was belatedly omitted because of a knee problem.

On Friday, Sassuolo strikers Francesco Caputo and Domenico Berardi, plus veteran defender Giorgio Chiellini, left the Italy squad and all three have been ruled out of the next two games.

Inter's Nicolo Barella only arrived at Italy's Coverciano camp just before the Northern Ireland game, due to his club side's COVID-19 outbreak late last week, so was replaced by Lorenzo Pellegrini at the Tardini. Both Barella and his Nerazzurri teammate Alessandro Bastoni could be set for starts in Sofia though, with Pellegrini and veteran Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci perhaps sitting out.

The Serie A champions will be represented, however, by one of the few stars of their season, Federico Chiesa, who is expected to come into the XI in a wide attacking role, while Matteo Pessina and Azzurri new-boy Rafael Toloi - both of Atalanta - may also feature at some stage.

Despite his midweek goal and rich recent record of productivity while wearing the iconic blue shirt, Ciro Immobile could well be rested, allowing Andrea Belotti to take the central striker's role in Mancini's favoured 4-3-3.

Home manager Yasen Petrov included 10 uncapped players in his first selection as national boss, though regular fixtures such as experienced captain Petar Zanev and Brazil-born defender Cicinho should once again start in defence versus Italy.

Bologna prospect Valentin Antov began on the bench against Switzerland, but will vie for an opportunity to play against some familiar faces, with fellow Serie A man Andrey Galabinov, of Spezia, hoping to make the matchday squad this time out after being entirely omitted on Thursday.

The third player in the hosts' Italy-based trio, Cagliari forward Kiril Despodov, is again expected to shoulder the burden of creativity for a Bulgaria team that has often struggled in the final third.

Bulgaria possible starting lineup:
P. Iliev; Popov, Antov, Zanev, Cicinho; Malinov, Kostadinov; Delev, D. Iliev, Despodov; Yomov

Italy possible starting lineup:
Donnarumma; Emerson, Acerbi, Bastoni, Di Lorenzo; Pessina, Verratti, Barella; Bernardeschi, Belotti, Chiesa


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