On Friday, Bulgaria will host Montenegro at the Huvepharma Arena in the first round of their 2024 European Championship qualifiers.
The hosts had a rough start to their Euro 2020 qualification campaign, going winless in their first seven games before securing a playoff spot with a hard-fought 1-0 win over the Czech Republic in their final group game. However, they were defeated 3-1 by Hungary in the first round of the playoffs, effectively ending their continental ambitions.
Bulgaria last competed in the European Championship in 2004 and hopes to return to the continental stage next year.
Montenegro had an even more difficult qualifying campaign than their opponents, going winless in eight group games and finishing bottom of their group with a negative goal difference of 19. Miodrag Radulovi took over as manager shortly after the qualifiers, and he will be hoping to outperform his predecessor.
The visitors will be looking to get their qualification campaign off to a winning start as they prepare for their first-ever appearance at the Euros next year.
Bulgaria and Montenegro will face off in the Bulgaria vs Montenegro of UEFA Euro 2024 on 24th March 2023 at the Ludogorets Arena.
Know the Match Details
Competition: Bulgaria vs Montenegro, UEFA Euro 2024
Date: Friday, 24th March 2023
Kickoff: 18:00 CET / 10:30 PM (IST)
Venue: Ludogorets Arena
Coach Mladen Krstajić recruited a large number of young players for the team. He only invited two players over the age of 30. (Radoslav Kirilov and Spas Delev).
Anton Nedyalkov, Ludogorets’ starting left-back and captain, will miss the game due to a heel injury.
Dimo Krastev, Iliyan Stefanov, and Dominik Yankov are also injured and will not play against Montenegro.
Bulgaria Possible Starting Lineup:
Daniel Naumov, Yoni Stoyanov, Valentin Antov, Petko Hristov, Plamen Galabov, Radoslav Kirilov, Filip Krastev, Ilia Gruev, Marin Petkov, Kiril Despodov, Spas Delev
Fatos Beqiraj was not invited to the Bulgaria game by Coach Miodrag Radulović. With 86 appearances for the Montenegrin national team, he holds the record.
Two key players for Montenegro’s national team have been injured and will miss the next two games: midfielder Marko Janković (Qarabag) and striker Uroš Đurđević (Sporting Gijon).
Stevan Jovetić is the most well-known player in Montenegro. The former Partizan, Manchester City, Inter, Fiorentina, Sevilla, and Monaco player does not see much action for his current club, Hertha Berlin. He has been injured several times in the last two seasons, and it appears that his prime has passed.
Montenegro Possible Starting Lineup:
Milan Mijatović, Adam Marušić, Stefan Savić, Žarko Tomašević, Risto Radunović, Vladimir Jovović, Vukan Savičević, Aleksandar Šćekić, Sead Hakšabanović, Stevan Jovetić, Stefan Mugoša
Bulgaria vs Montenegro Head-to-Head and Key Numbers
- Six meetings have taken place between Bulgaria and Montenegro. Both teams have won one game each, while their other four meetings have ended in draws.
- The two countries last met in the Euro 2020 qualifiers, where they played to a scoreless draw at Stadion pod Goricom.
- The visitors are unbeaten in their last four meetings with this team.
- The hosts have kept three consecutive clean sheets after having only one in their previous 12 games.
- Montenegro has won just one of their last six away games, a streak that began in October 2021.
- In the most recent FIFA rankings, only two places separate the two countries, with the hosts sitting 71st and the visitors sitting 69th.
Statistics for Bulgaria and Montenegro
When making a prediction for Bulgaria, we will consider the national team’s most recent official appearances in the UEFA Nations League C League. The Lions fought hard for promotion to the top flight, but were defeated by the Georgian national team by as many as seven points. In general, Krstaich’s wards appear to be in good shape – the team is confident against more or less equal opponents and plays solid defence. For example, using the same Georgians, the national team defeated the world 0:0, allowing the opponent to score only one goal.
When making a prediction for Montenegro, keep in mind that the team did not perform well in the previous UEFA Nations League. Radulovich’s wards finished third in Group 3 of League B, scoring seven points, but they retained their registration in the division. The team is not particularly pleased with its performance, but it defends well in general. The national team is severely lacking in strikers, which is why it cannot claim significant results.
- Bulgaria has lost eight of its last nine Euro qualifiers.
- Three of Bulgaria and Montenegro’s four Euro qualifiers ended in draws.
- Bulgaria has failed to score in three of their last five Euro qualifiers, while scoring only once in the other two.
- Montenegro has failed to score in four of their last five Euro qualifying matches.
- Montenegro has failed to win any of their last ten Euro qualifiers.
Bulgaria vs Montenegro Prediction
Bulgaria has won three of their last four games and is unbeaten in their last six overall. They have only lost one of their last six home games and will be looking for a win this weekend.
Montenegro has gone four games without a win, with three of those games ending in defeat. They have struggled for results on the road recently and may succumb here. Check out the odds at Cricbaba!
Watch out for an exciting game with Bulgaria to win at the odds of 2.50.
Bulgaria vs Montenegro Key Player:
Stefan Savić is the highest-rated player on either team. The 32-year-old Atletico Madrid defender has been a stalwart for Montenegro’s defence in 63 matches, scoring five goals in the process.