Suffering their first European qualifying defeat in over a decade out in the Czech Republic on Friday, England will be desperate to make a return to winning ways when they make the trip to Bulgaria on Monday night.
While Gareth Southgate’s men might be in the midst of a defensive crisis, the former Three Lions defender will be more than aware that a much-needed three points will see them secure an automatic route to next year’s European Championships.
On the flip side, while England might still be enjoying a battle at the top of Group A, Bulgaria find themselves in a very different position.
Only managing to scrape a point off of fellow strugglers Montenegro over the weekend, Monday’s hosts have now fallen to the foot of Group A and any chance of pulling off a shock late charge has been long off the table.
You might be interested to know that with The Whites picking up a 4-0 win when the two sides met last month, England have also bagged 11 goals in their last three matchups against Bulgaria. A similar victory for the guests and over 2.5 goals can be found at 8/11 with Paddy Power.
Bulgaria’s 12 months to forget
Although a bright run in the inaugural UEFA Nations League may have certainly increased the mood around the Stadion Vasil Levski heading into their Group A qualifying campaign, Bulgaria have come crashing back down to earth over the past 12 months.
Still searching for their first victory and now an overwhelming favourite to lift the wooden spoon come next month, they are also yet to pick up a victory on home soil in 2019.
A huge part of Bulgaria’s issues at the foot of Group A have come down to some toothless displays in the final third.
Once again drawing a blank against fellow strugglers Montenegro last time out, The Lions have failed to record a single strike in back-to-back qualifying matchups and has been a growing concern for Head Coach Krasimir Balakov.
Recording just three goals in their six Group A matchups and holding the worst attacking record of any nation, you might be interested to know that Monday’s hosts are pencilled in at 8/13 with Ladbrokes to draw yet another blank in Sofia.
Gareth Southgate’s defensive headache
Suffering a shock 2-1 defeat away in the Czech Republic over the weekend and putting in their worst Group A display so far, England are a nation starting to show some cracks.
While Gareth Southgate’s men are still a huge favourite to secure an automatic spot at EURO 2020, The Three Lions must drastically improve on some defensive issues.
Now conceding five goals in their last two appearances, they have also now secured just a single clean sheet in their last four Group A outings.
On the flip side, while Southgate might rightfully have some growing concerns over his side’s continued issues at the back, the 49-year-old will take some solace from Harry Kane’s continued success leading the line.
Converting from the spot on Friday, the England skipper has scored 20 goals in 21 matches for England when starting as captain.
Also bagging a hat-trick in their 4-0 victory over Bulgaria last month, you might be interested to know that the Spurs ace can be found at 14/1 with William Hill to leave Sofia with the match ball on Monday night.