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Bulgaria v England betting preview
Bulgaria have no wins in the last 10 outings in all competitionsBulgaria sit rock bottom of Group A, nine points behind England and have failed to win any of their six qualifiers so far. Krasimir Balakov's men are also winless in their last 10 games across all competitions - a run which will have stretched back more than a year by the time this match gets underway. They enter this clash on the back of a goalless draw against Montenegro last Friday. That was their only clean sheet recorded in the last 11 outings. This will be the 12th time these two countries have faced each other, with Bulgaria losing seven and never winning in 11 previous encounters.
Manager Krasimir Balakov has been hit with a couple of defensive withdrawals due to injury, as both Vasil Bozhikov and Strahil Popov suffered an injury last time out. Captain Ivelin Popov should return to the side after missing last time out. Naturalised Brazilian pair Marcelinho and Wanderson give the midfield a touch of glamour, forming alongside Kristiyan Malinov a trio of offensive midfielders behind the lone striker Bozhidar Kraev.
England are unbeaten in 11 previous meetings (W7-D4-L0) with BulgariaEngland suffered a rare qualifying defeat, their first since 2009, as the Group A leaders beaten 2-1 by the Czech Republic in Prague on Friday night. That result ended a run of 43 unbeaten games. Although that, the Three Lions could seal qualification here on Monday if they take top honours and Kosovo do not manage to overcome Montenegro elsewhere. As to direct encounters, the Three Lions eased to a 4-0 win at Wembley in September. They have won the last three against Bulgaria with an aggregate score of 11-0.
Gareth Southgate is expected to rotate for the clash in Sofia. Fikayo Tomori or Joe Gomez will replace Michael Keane at the heart of defense while both Danny Rose and Kieran Trippier are likely to be swapped out for Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ben Chilwell. Harry Winks could come in for Declan Rice in midfield with Ross Barkley also pushing to feature from the off. Raheem Sterling and Mason Mount should retain their berth behind the lone striker Harry Kane. The likes of Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford will battle it out for the remaining spot up front. James Maddison and Callum Wilson both missed the trip to Prague, and look set to miss out once more.
Bulgaria v England Starting Lineups Bulgaria (4-5-1): Iliev; Pashov, Dimitrov, Zanev, Nedyalkov; Kostadinov; Ivanov, Marcelinho, Malinov, Wanderson; Kraev
England (4-2-3-1): Pickford; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Maguire, Chilwell; J Henderson, Winks; Sancho, Mount, Sterling; Kane
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