Republic of Ireland vs Bulgaria betting tips: International friendly match preview & predictions

Seamus Coleman

Republic of Ireland vs Bulgaria prediction: Republic of Ireland 2-0 Bulgaria

After another big result for the Republic of Ireland on Thursday night, Mick McCarthy’s side now have this friendly to prepare for more huge games to come.

Will they keep their unbeaten run in 2019 going?

Highlights of Republic of Ireland 1-1 Switzerland

Republic of Ireland vs Bulgaria: Who will win?

Republic of Ireland are big favourites to win this one at 4/6.

Bulgaria meanwhile are 4/1 to leave the Aviva Stadium with a rare win.

A draw, which would be a positive result for the visitors, is 13/5.

Under 2.5 goals is 4/5.

Both teams to score no is 4/5.

Ireland to win and under 2.5 goals is 5/2.

Seán Maguire will be looking to get his first international goal in this match. He is 4/1 to break the deadlock and 15/8 to get his first goal in the green of Ireland.

Ivelin Popov is the top scorer in the Bulgaria squad with 15 international goals. He is 17/2 to score first and 7/2 to get his second international goal of 2019.

Republic of Ireland vs Bulgaria: Match preview

Copenhagen , Denmark – 7 June 2019; Republic of Ireland supporters prior to the UEFA EURO2020 Qualifier Group D match between Denmark and Republic of Ireland at Telia Parken in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

That could be a huge result for Ireland.

On Thursday, they hosted Switzerland in a vital game in Euro 2020 qualifying.

It was a cagy affair and, with just 15 minutes to go, the Swiss took the lead and deservedly so.

But, with 86 minutes on the clock, James McClean’s cross found David McGoldrick who headed home his first Ireland goal.

Cue bedlam in Dublin.

That was their first shot on target of the second half, emphasising how hard they had to battle for that point.

It also means they remain unbeaten in their first five qualifying matches for a European Championship for the first time since the Euro ’96 qualifiers.

That is because, back in March, Mick McCarthy began his second spell in charge with two must-win games, in Gibraltar and then at home to Georgia.

It certainly wasn’t pretty but they managed to get over the line in both.

Jeff Hendrick scored the only goal of the game just after half time in the first of those at Victoria Stadium.

Then, three days later, an amazing free-kick from Conor Hourihane saw them past Georgia by the same 1-0 scoreline.

In June, in their next double header, they travelled to Parken Stadium to take on Denmark in their first match against one of the big two in this group.

Despite a resolute defensive display they fell behind after 76 minutes.

But, with just four to play, Shane Duffy headed in a precious equaliser; 1-1 it finished.

They then moved onto ten points with a 2-0 home win over Gibraltar; an own goal and a late Robbie Brady header sealing the win.

Thursday’s draw with Switzerland means Ireland have 11 points, Denmark have nine and Switzerland are on eight having played a game less.

Their remaining games are back-to-back trips to Georgia and then Switzerland before finishing with a home match against Denmark.

It could hardly be tighter so how will Ireland look ahead of vital games to come?

Will Bulgaria bounce back in Dublin?

Euro 2020 live streaming

ROME, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 22: A general view of UEFA Euro Trophy in the Stadio Olinpico during the UEFA Euro Roma 2020 Official Logo unveiling at Palazzo delle Armi on September 22, 2016 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

As for Bulgaria, they have endured a miserable 2019.

On Saturday, they were simply outclassed by England at Wembley, going down 4-0.

In isolation, that is not a disaster but it follows a string of disappointing results in qualifying.

Back in March, they needed an 82nd minute penalty from Todor Nedelev to salvage a 1-1 draw at home to Montenegro.

Then, three days later, they drew 1-1 again this time in Kosovo; Vasil Bozhikov opening the scoring for them.

They then had an even more miserable June.

Despite taking a third minute lead through Ismail Isa, Bulgaria were beaten 2-1 in the Czech Republic.

On matchday four, they let in a 93rd minute goal so slumped to a 3-2 home defeat to the lowest ranked side in the group, Kosovo.

That leaves them bottom on two points despite the fact they’ve played more games than anybody else.

Although, this may not be as catastrophic as it first appears though as they could get a play-off place via the UEFA Nations League.

In that competition, they did get off to a flier beating Slovenia away and then Cyprus and Norway at home.

But, they then did not win any of their final three matches so finished second in League C3, two points behind Norway.

That means they finished fifth in the overall League C standings.

So, Bulgaria will get a play-off place if one or more of Scotland, Norway, Serbia or Finland qualify automatically.

That is not guaranteed to happen, but it is possible.

Thus, even though they look out the running in their group, it’s important for Bulgaria to build some momentum.

Can Krasimir Balakov’s side get a much needed boost in Dublin?

Republic of Ireland team news vs Bulgaria

Ireland are certainly not all full strength for this one with players injured or pulling out of the squad.

Mick McCarthy is expected to give a few fringe players a chance as this is his first friendly since returning as manager.

Darren Randolph is expected to keep his place in goal though, winning his 40th cap.

Matt Doherty and Stephen Ward are injured at the back.

There will only be one change to the regular defence, John Egan getting a chance and Richard Keogh being given a rest.

Enda Stevens will be suspended for the trip to Tbilisi next month but is eligible for this one.

In midfield, Josh Cullen and Alan Browne could come in alongside Jeff Hendrick who needs the minutes as he’s currently out of favour at Burnley.

Out-wide, Callum O’Dowda and Alan Judge could also come in.

Up front, there is a big shortage of goals in this squad and even more so now.

Sheffield United strikers Callum Robinson and David McGoldrick have withdrawn from the squad over the weekend.

Scott Hogan is expected to get the nod up front ahead of Seán Maguire, neither have ever scored an intentional goal.

Will this side see off Bulgaria?

Bulgaria team news vs Republic of Ireland

NYON, SWITZERLAND – JULY 18: The UEFA logo is seen on the UEFA Champions League trophy as it is prepared for the UEFA 2014/15 Champions League third qualifying rounds draw at the UEFA headquarters, The House of European Football, on July 18, 2014 in Nyon, Switzerland. (Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images for UEFA)

As for Bulgaria, with the potential Nations League play-offs in mind, Krasimir Balakov is expected to name his strongest possible side.

Plamen Iliev is the first choice goalkeeper and will win his 15th cap.

Nikolay Bodurov is the experienced man at the back having won his 50th cap at Wembley at the weekend.

Their midfield will be once again anchored by Georgi Sarmov and Georgi Milanov.

Ivelin Popov is their main creator; he’s got 15 goals in 85 international caps.

Also joining him further forward are two naturalised Brazilians.

Marcelinho has been at Ludogorets since 2011; Wanderson has been with the Bulgarian Champions since 2014.

Both have since declared themselves available for their adopted nation and both are attacking threats.

Can this side cause a shock at the Aviva?

Predicted Republic of Ireland line-up vs Bulgaria

Predicted Republic of Ireland line-up vs Bulgaria

Predicted Republic of Ireland line-up vs Bulgaria.

Predicted Bulgaria line-up vs Republic of Ireland

Predicted Bulgaria line-up vs Republic of Ireland

Predicted Bulgaria line-up vs Republic of Ireland.

Highlights of Gibraltar 0-1 Republic of Ireland

Highlights of Republic of Ireland 1-0 Georgia

Highlights of Denmark 1-1 Republic of Ireland

Highlights of Republic of Ireland 2-0 Gibraltar

Highlights of England 4-0 Bulgaria

The latest tweets from Republic of Ireland pre Bulgaria

The latest tweets Bulgaria pre Republic of Ireland

All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.

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