Big Match Preview - Bulgaria vs France 8 Oct

Started by Bensergi, Oct 04, 2017, 08:05 AM

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Oct 04, 2017, 08:05 AM Last Edit: Oct 04, 2017, 08:47 AM by Bensergi
Bulgaria vs France
8 Oct, Sunday, 2:45am

Big Match Preview:
The game plan couldn't be more direct for France. A win over Bulgaria will see them take a giant leap towards Russia before their last group match on Tuesday, a home match against Belarus. Should they leave Sofia with anything less than a win and they could find themselves in trouble. Sweden are a point behind, and are waiting to pounce on any slip-up from the French.

Bulgaria have proven to be France's biggest heartache. Back in November 1993, the Bulgarians beat France 2-1 in Paris with a last-gasp strike, where a draw would have been enough for Les Bleus to qualify. The result consigned the French to watch the 1994 World Cup Finals from the sofa. It took a while for France to recover from this dark chapter in their footballing history.

It will be a strenuous task to take down the Bulgarians, who can boast of a perfect home record in qualifying, but the French have basically shot themselves in the foot. A last minute defeat in Sweden, no thanks to a huge Hugo Lloris goalkeeping error was followed on by an unthinkable goalless draw with minnows Luxembourg in Paris.

Big Team news:
Paul Pogba, Laurent Koscielny, Benjamin Mendy and Ousmane Dembele are all out injured. The defensive partnership of Raphael Varane and Samuel Umtiti is a new one, and could face some stern questioning from the Bulgarian attack. have rarely played with each other in defence.

On top of all of that, there are worries up front. Antoine Griezmann is going through a bad time with Atletico Madrid; Olivier Giroud is not playing much at Arsenal; Thomas Lemar has been poor in his last two matches since coming back from injury at Monaco.

Big Stat 1: Olivier Giroud scored his 100th goal for Arsenal last week
Big Stat 2: Bulgaria went on to finish fourth in the 1994 World Cup finals after eliminating France in qualifying
Big Stat 3: Bulgaria have lost just one World Cup qualifier at home since 2005. That was a 1-0 defeat to Czech Republic in 2013.

Fastgoal's prediction: Bulgaria 1-2 France


Match Stats:

  • Bulgaria 0-1 France
  • Shots: 6-6
  • Possession: 52%-48%
  • Corner kicks: 1-4

Midfielder N'Golo Kante suffered a hamstring injury against Bulgaria as France moved to within one win of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

Les Bleus were already leading when the Chelsea player had to be replaced after 34 minutes in Barysaw.

Juventus midfielder Blaise Matuidi scored the only goal with low finish.

The 1998 world champions will qualify with victory over Belarus on Tuesday.

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