Bulgaria vs Slovenia
Competition: UEFA Nations League
Date: 19 November 2018
Kick-off: 20:45 CET
A Nikolay Dimitrov penalty kick in the 89th minute salvaged a point for Bulgaria on Friday, in Cyprus. They had been losing 1-0 since the 24th minute. Numbers say they deserved more than one point, no matter if they needed a penalty to avoid defeat just before added time started. They finished the match on 17 attempts (Cyprus had just six), six of those were on target (Cyprus, three), corners won were 1-10 for them, and also had 65% ball possession. With these numbers in mind, you could say that late-late penalty did the game some justice. They remain second in the table, even though they are level on points with Norway. They beat them 1-0 in Sofia, lost 1-0 in Oslo, so it’s the overall goal difference that counts now, and there, Norway have a marginal advantage. The scenarios are several; if both teams win their last matches, Bulgaria need to win by one goal more than Norway. If both teams draw, it’s all over for Bulgaria, they finish second. Interestingly, they may finish first, even if they lose(!). For example, if they lose 0-1, and Norway lose 2-0 in Cyprus, they’ll both finish on 10 points, both on a +1 goal difference, same results in the games between them, but Bulgaria will have scored one goal more than Norway, in all group matches.
Slovenia came very close to beating Norway at home on Friday, they took the lead in the 9th minute, stayed 1-0 up until the 85th, by they finally conceded, and had to settle for a draw. Second draw in a row, after that 1-1 with Cyprus as well, also at home. On two points, three behind 3rd-placed Cyprus, and having earn just one point from their two games against them, they can’t avoid finishing last in the group. They have already gotten relegated to League D. On Friday, they finished the game on just four attempts (Norway had 15!), two on target, and less than 40% ball possession.
Previous five matches:
Cyprus vs Bulgaria 1-1
Norway vs Bulgaria 1-0
Bulgaria vs Cyprus 2-1
Bulgaria vs Norway 1-0
Slovenia vs Bulgaria 1-2
Slovenia vs Norway 1-1
Slovenia vs Cyprus 1-1
Norway vs Slovenia 1-0
Cyprus vs Slovenia 2-1
Slovenia vs Bulgaria 1-2
Neither Bulgaria nor Slovenia have a next game scheduled yet.
Bulgaria vs Slovenia: Head to head Stats
Bulgaria have hosted Slovenia just once before; they beat them 3-0 in the Euro 2008 qualifiers.
Bulgaria vs Slovenia: Prediction
I trust Bulgaria to win the game, and actually I expect them to finish first in the group.
Bulgaria vs Slovenia: Betting Tips
Bulgaria’s win is at 1.85. I’m leaving number of goals and clean sheets out, because whatever happens in this game will be closely linked with what will be happening simultaneously in Cyprus, which complicates things.