MX23RW : Wednesday, June 16 20:26:57| >> :600:783821:783821:
Oct 14, 2020 at 7.45pm UK at Stadion Slavija
BulgariaBulgaria
0-1
WalesWales

Cicinho (51'), Karabelyov (52'), Traychev Dimitrov (59')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Williams (85')
Davies (28'), Wilson (49'), James (50'), Williams (90+4')

Preview: Bulgaria vs. Wales - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's UEFA Nations League clash between Bulgaria and Wales in Sofia, including team news and predicted lineups.

Wales will be looking to put a couple of disappointing performances behind them when they take on Bulgaria in their next UEFA Nations League outing on Wednesday evening.

The Dragons followed up a 3-0 friendly defeat to England with a goalless draw against Republic of Ireland at the weekend, though they remain in control at the top of Group B4.


Match preview

A stalemate in Dublin is certainly not the worst result on the face of it for Ryan Giggs, especially as it means his side keep hold of top spot at the midway stage of the campaign, albeit now just one point better off than Finland.

Wales offered very little in an attacking sense, however, which has been the theme throughout their four matches this calendar year.

It took late goals to see off Finland and Bulgaria in last month's opening two UEFA Nations League fixtures, but there was no way through against England nor Republic of Ireland.

Ultimately, though, Giggs can be pleased with his side's results over the past 18 months, having lost just once in their last 10 matches - the friendly defeat against an experimental England at Wembley last week.

Another victory away to bottom side Bulgaria on Wednesday will ensure that the Dragons remain well-placed to earn promotion to Group A.

Wales manager Ryan Giggs pictured in September 2020© Reuters

Georgi Dermendzhiev's charges have lost back-to-back UEFA Nations League games without scoring, going down 1-0 to Wales in Cardiff and 2-0 away to Finland last time out.

That followed a 1-1 draw at home to Republic of Ireland in their opening fixture, with Shane Duffy snatching a last-gasp point for the visitors.

In fact, it is now six games without a win for Bulgaria in this competition when including fixtures from the last campaign.

Overall, the Lions have won just one of their last 18 matches, losing the last three of those, so Wales will undoubtedly head into this contest as the favourites.

With a couple of home games to see out their Group B4 campaign next month, Giggs's men have a real chance to tighten their grip on top spot, while at the same time sending Bulgaria closer to relegation.

Bulgaria Nations League form: DLL
Bulgaria form (all competitions): WLDLLL

Wales Nations League form: WWD
Wales form (all competitions): WWWWLD


Team News

Aaron Ramsey celebrates scoring for Wales on November 19, 2019© Reuters

Kieffer Moore was declared fit to play against Republic of Ireland, despite injuring his toe versus England, but he is suspended for this match after picking up another yellow card.

Chris Mepham was ruled out of that clash in Dublin, meanwhile, meaning that versatile midfielder Ethan Ampadu had to drop into the backline, which should also remain the case here.

Further forward, Matt Smith and Joe Morrell were paired together in holding midfield on Sunday, but Giggs will surely make changes in that department, with Will Vaulks pushing for a recall.

David Brooks got some minutes under his belt as a second-half substitute at the Aviva Stadium but has since been ruled out with a hamstring problem, while Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey are also absent.

Bulgaria made eight changes between their Euro 2020 qualifying playoff defeat to Hungary and the 2-0 loss to Finland, and Dermendzhiev is likely to rotate again for this game.

After being brought on in the second half against Finland, Dimitar Velkovski and Bozhidar Kraev are candidates to come into the starting lineup.

Bulgaria possible starting lineup:
Lukov; Popov, Dimitrov, Bozhikov, Velkovski; Tsvetkov, Malinov; Despodov, Iliev, Yomov; Kraev

Wales possible starting lineup:
Hennessey; N.Williams, Ampadu, Rodon, Davies; Matondo, Vaulks, Levitt, James; J.Williams; Roberts


SM words green background

We say: Bulgaria 0-2 Wales

Wales have looked a little disjointed in their latest set of fixtures, clearly not helped by a quick turnaround in games and the absence of their undisputed star player.

This trip to Sofia presents the visitors with a chance to get back to winning ways and take a step closer to promotion, however, and we cannot see past a routine away victory.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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Wales forward Gareth Bale pictured in training on September 2, 2020
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