Intl Friendlies
Date: 7:45 p.m. Sept. 10, 2019
Venue: Aviva Stadium
Ref:
Att:
TV:

Alan Browne 56' -
Scored: 56'


Kevin Long 83' -
Scored: 83'


James Collins 86' -
Scored: 86'


Peno Scored: 67'
- Ivelin Popov 67'



Friendly Preview: Republic of Ireland -v- Bulgaria

Mon, Sep 09 2019

Darren Randolph Credit: Clare McCahill

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

The Boys in Green will be seeking to continue their six game unbeaten run when they host fellow Europeans Bulgaria at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday evening (kick-off is at 7.45pm).

The Republic of Ireland will be looking to build on their encouraging point picked up on Thursday evening – with David McGoldrick’s late equaliser earning a draw.

Despite looking bereft of ideas for most of the night, the Irish rallied late on and could have nicked all three points, but it wasn’t to be on a dramatic night at the Lansdowne Road venue.

“There will be some changes against Bulgaria and the players understand that,” said Mick McCarthy at his pre-match press conference.  

“Those who have travelled with us for the five competitive games without playing know that some of them will get their chances to impress in this match.”

One of those who is expected to be given a chance is forward Nathan Collins – a man who has certainly not had it all his own ways in recent years

“We were playing against one another in League One for Gillingham and Shrewsbury and we have both come far since then with me in the Championship and John in the Premier League,” said Collins. 

“It has been a long journey. When you are doing well it gets recognised. I’ve been lucky to make it back-to-back promotions with Luton and making that step up to League One last year and now the Championship now this year is really special. 

“I’m delighted I’m here and if I do get a chance it is all about taking it. With the game being a friendly on Tuesday, it’s a massive opportunity for me and players who’ve not got minutes.”

Sitting beside Collins, Sheffield United’s John Egan added that he has found Collins diifuclt to play against on many occasions. “He’s a good finisher,” said Egan.

“James has been brilliant and anywhere he’s been, he’s scored goals. When you’re going through the scores on Saturday, any team he’s played for, he’s always been on the scoresheet, which is your job as a striker.

“The Championship is really physically demanding, playing every Saturday and Tuesday. I think the Premier League is probably more mentally demanding.

“You’re playing against top teams every week, so you’re being asked different questions and coming up against the best strikers. It can only benefit me and make me a better player.”

McGoldrick and Callum Robinson are the only two absentees for the Tuesday evening friendly – with plenty of changes expected from the first friendly of McCarthy’s second reign as boss.      

BULGARIA

After suffering a mauling at the hands of England last time out in their European Qualifier clash at Wembley, Bulgaria make the trip across the Irish Sea to face what will be a makeshift Republic of Ireland.

The Bulgarians were in fact well in the game at Wembley prior to their concession of the first goal, but they soon wilted under the intense pressure of the Three Lions.

Currently lying 60th in the FIFA World Rankings, Bulgarian football is at its very lowest ebb in living memory – emphasised by their poor showings in recent years at international levels.

While memories of a more successful past still linger, manager Krasimir Balakov spoke after the game against England – admitting that his side have a long road ahead of themselves.     

“I think the referee did well - I don’t comment on the referee’s performance and I don’t think the penalty was the problem. Our problem is that we have a lot of work ahead of us.”

Balakov also noted that the ability of a certain Harry Kane was pivotal in putting his charges to the sword in London.

“He’s definitely one of the best in the world. The difference between him and the other great attackers in the world is that he’s very valuable to his team. He works hard and creates a lot for his teammates.”

Referee: TBC

 

MATCH STATS

Ireland are unbeaten in their previous six games, but they have not scored over 2.5 goals in the last ten games including friendlies. However, Ireland have only ever conceded over 1.5 goals twice since March 2018 against both France and Wales.

Bulgaria have only failed to score in two of their last 12 matches but kept just one clean sheet in the process. Bulgaria have conceded the opener in six of their last 11 games

With Jack Byrne having been left out of the matchday squad to face Switzerland, it is almost 34 years since the last league of Ireland player has played a senior competitive game for the Republic of Ireland – with Pat Byrne of Shamrock Rovers being the last.

BETTING

Republic of Ireland 4/7; Draw 13/5; Bulgaria 4/1.

PREDICTION

Republic of Ireland 2 - 0 Bulgaria

 

Republic of Ireland

Injured: David McGoldrick, Callum Robinson.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: None.

 

Bulgaria

Injured: Unavailable.

Doubtful: Unavailable.

Suspended: None.



Republic of Ireland
Mark Travers
Goalkeeper 75'
75Subbed Off: 75'
John Egan
Defender
Cyrus Christie
Defender
Conor Hourihane
68'
68Subbed Off: 68'
Defender
Kevin Long
83Scored: 83'
Defender
Joshua Cullen
Midfielder
Alan Browne
56Scored: 56'
Midfielder
Alan Judge
59'
59Subbed Off: 59'
Midfielder
Scott Hogan
60'
60Subbed Off: 60'
Forward
Ronan Curtis
84'
84Subbed Off: 84'
Forward
Callum O'Dowda
76'
76Subbed Off: 76'
Forward

Substitutes
Jeff Hendrick
84'
84Subbed On: 84'
Midfield
Shane Duffy
Defender
James Collins
60'
60Subbed On: 60'
85Booked: 85'
86Scored: 86'
Forward
Séamus Coleman
Defender
Jack Byrne
59'
59Subbed On: 59'
Midfield
Richard Keogh
Defender
James McClean
68'
68Subbed On: 68'
Midfield
Kieran O'Hara
75'
75Subbed On: 75'
Goalkeeper
Darren Randolph
Goalkeeper
Enda Stevens
76'
76Subbed On: 76'
Defender
Glenn Whelan
Midfield
Bulgaria
Hristo Ivanov
Goalkeeper
Georgi Pashov
Defender
Anton Nedyallkov
Defender 59'
59Subbed Off: 59'
Ivan Goranov
Defender
Kristian Dimitrov
Defender 80'
80Subbed Off: 80'
Georgi Milanov
Midfielder 46'
46Subbed Off: 46'
Kristiyan Malinov
Midfielder 81'
81Subbed Off: 81'
Simeon Slavchev
Midfielder
Daniel Mladenov
Forward 68'
68Subbed Off: 68'
Bozhidar Kraev
Forward
Nikolay Dimitrov
Forward 59'
59Subbed Off: 59'

Substitutes
Georgi Sarmov
Midfield
Ivelin Popov
Forward
46Subbed On: 46'
46'
67Peno: 67'
Vasil Panayotov
Midfield
80Subbed On: 80'
80'
Marcelinho
Unknown
Martin Lukov
Goalkeeper
Galin Ivanov
Midfield
Plamen Iliev
Goalkeeper
Kiril Despodov
Unknown
68Subbed On: 68'
68'
Vasil Bozhikov
Unknown
59Subbed On: 59'
59'
Nikolay Bodurov
Unknown
Georgi Terziev
Defender
81Subbed On: 81'
81'


Photo Gallery for Republic of Ireland -v- Bulgaria