Bulgaria were one of those teams everyone was afraid of ten years ago because of two reasons: it was ‘behind the curtain’, and Dimitar Berbatov. Well, now half your estate goes there for all-inclusive holidays there and gets their teeth done by a bloke from Plovdiv. The world really is changing.
Wales have benefited from their Euro qualifiers, though. Unlike a lot of the home nations’ games in the Nations League, Wales can actually focus on them because they haven’t bizarrely run into conflict with a playoff.
Wales also know that a win here probably secures them promotion to Group A, truth be told. Bulgaria were slapped at home to Hungary who themselves are no great shakes, and the wounds from that are probably still wide open.
And while this is a home game, it does feel like Bulgaria’s fate in League B comes down to their meeting with Ireland in November. It’s nice to use Ireland as a barometer, too. If Wales go out and obliterate Bulgaria here, is Stephen Kenny the next Pep Guardiola?
Either way, I suspect this will be quite one-sided, particularly as one side hasn’t had the joy of rotation. Here’s three of the best.
Bulgaria v Wales
19:45 Sky Sports Football
It’s quite a generous price and I presume it wouldn’t have been quite as lofty had they beaten Ireland. Wales are a funny one – kinda like Iceland.
We will forever associate them with their success at a major tournament but in reality, this team is now very different to the one that stormed their way to the last four of the Euros.
They’re a tad more direct, Gareth Bale is slightly older yet knows even less Spanish and Ryan Giggs is a bit more of pragmatist than his predecessor.
All of this accounts to smaller, more grinded-out results and if you take a look at their qualifying campaign, and even their first three games in this competition, it’s apparent that Giggs wants to just win games. And Wales will win again here
This feels like it could come down to set pieces, and while Bulgaria’s back four are experienced in life, there’s none of them with more than 31 caps – that honour belonging to Strahil Popov who plays for Hatayspor.
Wales are the kind of team you want to foul around the edge of the area, and presuming Bale will be limited in his time, Harry Wilson should get the green light for those duties.
Ever seen such a low price for Under 1.5 Goals? It’s because it’s a probability rather than an alternative play on the 2.5 line.
Bozhidar Kraev is the only player to have scored more than two goals for his country in this Bulgaria squad and if that doesn’t ring alarm bells, nothing will.
They’re decent on the break, but Wales aren’t exactly keen on keeping the ball all too often either. Ireland passed it around them at will. With one team in possession with no idea how to break another down, it usually results in long periods of nothing happening in midfield. Buckle up.
Tips for Bulgaria vs Wales on Wednesday at 19:45
These three selections in a Same Game Multi will give you odds of around 30/1 with Paddy Power.
- Shane Duffy to deliver for Ireland in our boosted 40/1 best bet
- Scotland to get reality Czech at Hampden
- Harry Kane to reign supreme for England v Denmark