Preview: Georgia vs. Bulgaria - prediction, team news, lineups -

Preview: Georgia vs. Bulgaria – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Nations League clash between Georgia and Bulgaria, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Georgia head into Sunday’s UEFA Nations League fixture with Bulgaria knowing that victory could be enough to seal promotion to the second tier.

At a time when the home side sit five points clear at the top of Group C4, Bulgaria are seven points adrift and coming off the back of one of the most deflating results in their history.

Match preview

Georgia's Khvicha Kvaratskhelia celebrates scoring against Spain on March 28, 2021© Reuters

After losing five successive games between June and October last year, Georgia looked likely to spend more time in the international doldrums under Willy Sagnol.

However, the Frenchman has spearheaded one of the most unexpected revivals on this stage in recent years, Georgia having now recorded seven wins and one draw from their last eight outings.

Although the 2-0 win over Sweden late last year remains the standout result, the Crusaders have gone goal crazy in this competition, scoring 12 times in three outings.

The latest spurt of strikes came in North Macedonia on Thursday, all three of their goals being netted after the break as they took control of Group C4.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia contributed his third of the campaign during that match, but Sagnol will take greater satisfaction from how the goals have been shared around a united squad.

At a time when Georgia are on the brink of promotion, Bulgaria are in complete disarray, a change in head coach being followed by embarrassment in Gibraltar.

While one of the minnows of international football are improving all the time, the 1-1 draw is their most notable result since emerging victorious in Armenia back in 2018.

Georgi Ivanov, the interim boss, will be grateful for an instant opportunity for his side to redeem themselves, anything other than victory leaving them out of contention for promotion.

Realistically, that should not even be in their thinking, Bulgaria having not won in seven games and being without an away success since 2018.

Georgia Nations League form:

Georgia form (all competitions):

Bulgaria Nations League form:

Bulgaria form (all competitions):

Team News

Georgia manager Willy Sagnol during the press conference on March 27, 2021© Reuters

While the quick turnaround may encourage Sagnol to make changes, opting for the bulk of the players who featured in North Macedonia may take priority.

Otar Kiteishvili may be potentially recalled in midfield after netting as a substitute during that contest, but the experienced Valeri Qazaishvili could stay among the replacements.

Ivanov is expected to make more changes to his Bulgaria XI, Kiril Despodov in line to earn an immediate recall on the flank.

Georgi Milanov and Georgi Kostadinov are both options to come back into the midfield, with Filip Krastev likely to drop out of the team.

With Gibraltar’s equaliser coming from the penalty spot, the four-man defence could be given another chance to impress.

Georgia possible starting lineup:
Mamardashvili; Kvirkvelia, Kashia, Khocholava; Kakabadze, Aburjania, Kvekveskiri, Tsitaishvili; Kvaratskhelia, Davitashvili; Zivzivadze

Bulgaria possible starting lineup:
Vutsov; Popov, Hristov, Chorbadzhiyski, Jordanov; Milanov, Kraev; Milanov, Stefanov, Despodov; Minchev

SM words green background

We say: Georgia 2-1 Bulgaria

After such a disappointing result earlier this week, you have to expect a response from Bulgaria. However, that is not to say that it will be enough, and our full backing goes to Georgia who are starting to look like they could be a force when it comes to qualification for Euro 2024.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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