A big game from Group A in World Cup qualification in Sofia on Thursday night. This is a tight group and the stakes are going to be high for both of these. Bulgaria have to pull out the stops and get a win on the board in here to really throw the qualification chase wide open, while the Swedes have the chance to solidify their position at the top of the pile. With the France v Netherlands fixture from this group on the same night, the importance of this one is just as high.
The Bulgarians can pull to within one point of the current Group A leaders Sweden with a home victory, while the Swedes could potentially open up a three point lead at the top with just three qualification games to go. There’s potentially a very good game up here and the Swedes, because of their form against Bulgaria are 3/4 odds on at Bet365 leaving the Bulgarians out at 4/1.
So here is where this all gets really interesting. Bulgaria have done well on home soil in qualification, having beaten Belarus and Luxembourg as expected, but their 2-0 home win over the Netherlands, wasn’t expected. That was such a highly important victory for them that it could give them the confidence to produce in this one. That’s two clean sheets in three home qualifiers then in the group from them and a win in this one keeps the qualification race wide open. However, they have conceded more goals than anyone else in the group besides Luxembourg and are in shocking form against Sweden.
Sweden have gone W4 D1 L1 in the group with their sole reverse happening in Paris against France. But they balanced that out with a home win over Les Bleus by the same scoreline. So they are holding the top spot on goal difference over France and have averaged two goals per game exactly in their campaign. Their only other away game saw them narrowly win 1-0 in Luxembourg, so their away form isn’t great but they have a decent enough attacking threat with Emil Forsberg top scoring for them so far in the group with three goals.
Head to Head News:
Sweden beat Bulgaria 3-0 in Solna earlier in the group campaign and they have won each of their last three against them by that very scoreline. Overall Sweden are on a seven match winning streak against Bulgaria and each of those wins came with a clean sheet as well. Bulgaria have managed just the one goal in their last eleven matches against Sweden, so the head to head is firmly with Sweden. Overall Sweden’s head to head advantage is W11 D2 L1 against Bulgaria.
Top Betting Tips:
Sweden have to recognise the potential chance to open a lead at the top of the group on Thursday night and should be up for this. They have tremendous form against Bulgaria and Sweden to win to nil has to have some major appeal at 13/8 with bet365. Bulgaria’s home win over the Netherlands is likely just going to be one of those ‘once in a blue moon’ type of results which breeds a bit of optimism before vanishing again.