MX23RW : Wednesday, August 4 02:47:26| >> :600:2305354:2305354:
Nov 15, 2020 at 5pm UK at Stadion Vasil Levski
BulgariaBulgaria
1-2
FinlandFinland
Iliev (68' pen.)
Ivanov (6'), Bozhikov (32'), Kraev (56'), Malinov (59'), Delev (62')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Pukki (7'), Lod (45+1')
Alho (10'), Sparv (59'), Schuller (83')

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

Sports Mole previews Sunday's UEFA Nations League clash between Bulgaria and Finland, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Finland will be looking to make it four wins from five matches in the 2020-21 UEFA Nations League when they continue their campaign away to Bulgaria on Sunday evening.

A total of nine points from four games has left Markku Kanerva's side in second position in League A Group 4, while Bulgaria are currently bottom of the section, having picked up just a single point from four matches.


Match preview

Republic of Ireland's Shane Duffy scores against Bulgaria in the UEFA Nations League on September 3, 2020© Reuters

Bulgaria will enter Sunday's clash off the back of a victory, having beaten Gibraltar 3-0 in a friendly on Wednesday, but it has been a tough Nations League campaign thus far for the Lions.

Georgi Dermendzhiev's side, as mentioned, are currently bottom of League A Group 4 with just a single point to show from their four matches in the section.

Bulgaria opened their campaign with a 1-1 draw at home to the Republic of Ireland but have since lost home and away to Wales, in addition to suffering a 2-0 loss away to Finland last month.

Lavovete will not be present at next summer's European Championships, meaning that it is now 16 years since they last qualified for a major tournament, and they are facing a major battle with the Republic of Ireland to avoid finishing bottom of this particular section.

Finland players celebrate Omma Valakari's goal against France on November 11, 2020© Reuters

Finland, on the other hand, will enter Sunday's clash full of confidence, having recorded an impressive 2-0 victory away to world champions France in a friendly on Wednesday night.

Kanerva's side have now won four of their last five matches in all competitions, including three straight Nations League victories over the Republic of Ireland - home and away - and Bulgaria.

As mentioned, a total of nine points from four matches has left them second in the group behind Wales, and they will want to be in a strong position ahead of their huge trip to Cardiff on November 18.

The Eagle-Owls won four of their six games in the 2018-19 Nations League to earn promotion, while they will be at next summer's European Championships, having finished second behind France in Group J.

Bulgaria Nations League form: DDDLLL
Bulgaria form (all competitions): DLLLLW

Finland Nations League form: LLLWWW
Finland form (all competitions): LWLWWW


Team News

Finland players celebrate Fredrik Jenson's goal against Republic of Ireland on September 6, 2020© Reuters

The fact that the leading scorer in the current Bulgaria squad - Bozhidar Kraev - only has three international goals to his name is an indication of the team's issues in the final third of the field.

The side will have a different look to the one that started against Wales in their last Nations League fixture, although Georgi Yomov and Kraev should both keep their spots in the XI.

Dominik Yankov earned just his second cap against Gibraltar and should continue in the starting XI, while there is also expected be a midfield role for Aleksandar Tsvetkov.

Finland, meanwhile, are without Augsburg attacker Fredrik Jensen, who has scored an impressive seven goals in 16 caps, but Teemu Pukki will be in the starting XI on Sunday night.

Brentford's Michael Forss impressively scored on his debut against France, but Joel Pohjanpalo is likely to get the nod alongside Pukki as part of a front two.

Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara should feature in midfield, and there is expected be a 79th cap for captain Tim Sparv, while Robert Taylor and Pyry Soiri are also set to start.

Bulgaria possible starting lineup:
Lukov; Cicinho, Zanev, Dimitrov, Popov; Malinov, Ivanov; Yankov, Tsvetkov, Yomov; Kraev

Finland possible starting lineup:
Hradecky; Granlund, Toivio, Arajuuri, Uronen; Soiri, Kamara, Sparv, Taylor; Pukki, Pohjanpalo


SM words green background

We say: Bulgaria 0-1 Finland

Finland's recent form has been very impressive, but the same cannot be said for Bulgaria, who have lost their last four competitive matches. We are not expecting a particularly open game on Sunday but believe that Finland will have enough to pick up a very important three points.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a draw or an away win 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.Draw/Away:data

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