Build up to the match
With two games left to play, frontrunners France definitely will not be keen to take this game lightly. Les Bleus are currently on top of Group A in the table for qualification but are just a mere point ahead of second-placed Sweden. With France’s form inconsistent in their recent outings, they must ensure they don’t let their guard down against a Bulgarian side who will surely be eager to grab the chance to keep their World Cup chances alive.
Kickoff: Saturday, 7th October 2017, 9:45PM local time
Venue: Stadion Vasil Levski, Sofia, Bulgaria
Trusted defender Stansilav Manolev will once again lend his services for his country come Saturday, providing a solid option at the back. Veteran striker Ivelin Popov, who already has 12 international goals to his name, will surely be leading Bulgaria up front. The highly-rated Todor Nedelev will provide an intelligent presence in midfield.
Captain Hugo Lloris returns to the national team eager to provide safe hands at goal. While Paul Pogba is out with an injury, France’s N’Golo Kante and Blaise Matuidi from Chelsea and Juventus, respectively, should provide enough cover in midfield. Expect on-fire Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann to look for those chances up front and score goals for Les Bleus come Saturday.
Bulgaria will need to forget and move on from their disappointing defeat against the Netherlands last month if they are to have any chance of winning against heavy favourites France. A repeat of their heroics against Sweden last September will do wonders in their upcoming match.
A shock draw against minnows Luxembourg disappointed a lot of France fans, and Les Bleus will have to ensure they get back to their groove if they are to win against Bulgaria. France’s lead in Group A isn’t insurmountable, all the more reason for them to get back to winning ways come Saturday.
Bulgaria may still have an outside chance of clinching a possible play-off spot, but France will be fighting to secure to automatic qualification to the World Cup final in Russia. Les Bleus will fight tooth and nail to get this win, and that dogged determination, coupled with the quality of their squad, should be enough to seal the win.
Bulgaria 0-2 France