Wales v Bulgaria
Sunday 6 September, 14:00
Live on Sky Sports
Returning stars to boost the Welsh
A 1-0 win in Finland sent Wales to the top of League B4, and they will be aiming to make it six points from a possible six before they have to go to Ireland in October.
Ryan Giggs will have been happy with the performance given that Gareth Bale only had the fitness for 45 minutes, and that he was without the likes of David Brooks.
Brooks has recovered from an ankle problem and is back in the squad for this weekend, while the 45 minutes of competitive football will have done Bale the world of good.
Bulgaria in transition
The Bulgarians drew 1-1 with Ireland on Thursday, and despite their struggles prior matches, they will have been disappointed not to win considering they led until the 93rd minute.
Georgi Dermendzhiev took over as manager at the tail-end of their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign, and he actually led the team to their first victory of any nature since a 2-1 success over Cyprus in October 2018 – ending a winless run of 12 matches.
They still have a chance of reaching next summer’s Euros courtesy of their performance in this tournament in 2018. A tie with Hungary awaits in October, and they will be aiming to build up a good run of results before then.
Wales are the strong favourites for this game, with their price hovering around the [1.57] mark on the Betfair Exchange. Bulgaria can be backed at [7.8] and the draw is [4.1].
The Welsh are unbeaten in seven, with the latest three of which being wins. They kept four clean sheets during that period, and only conceded a single goal in each of the other three games.
At home, Ryan Giggs‘ men have recorded victories in five of their last six, with the sole blemish being a 1-1 draw against World Cup runners-up, Croatia.
As previously mentioned, Bulgaria’s results have been poor for a couple of years now, but they have improved under Dermendzhiev.
His record is played four, won one, drawn one and lost two, but they have had the advantage of playing on home soil for all four of those outings.
The [1.57] about the hosts is quite prohibitive though, but I am interested in Wales to win to nil.
The odds are much more generous at the [2.3] mark, and you might even get slightly bigger as the liquidity gets better nearer to kick-off.
Goals shouldn’t be free-flowing at the Cardiff City Stadium on Sunday, as neither team are overly prolific.
The Bulgarians netted just six times in eight Euro 2020 qualifying matches, and under their new boss, their scorelines have been 0-1, 1-0, 0-1 and 1-1.
Wales are extremely solid at the back – three clean sheets in a row – but they haven’t scored more than twice since September 2018.
They are currently on a run of six to see Under 2.5 backers to collect, and while you can get [1.74] for that to become seven, I don’t see much juice in that price.
For those interested, Over 2.5 is trading at around the [2.2] mark.