Bulgaria squad unveiled for World Cup qualifier against Ireland
Bulgaria coach Stanimir Stoilov has named the 17 foreign-players based to be included in his 20-man squad for the FIFA World Cup Group Eight qualifier against the Republic of Ireland in Sofia on Saturday, June 6 (kick-off 8.30pm, local time).
Three home-based players will be added to the squad for the clash between the second and third placed teams in the group at the Vasil Levski National Stadium.
Stoilov welcomes back Manchester City winger Martin Petrov to the panel after a long injury lay-off. His club colleague, Valeri Bojinov, is also picked having missed their last qualifiers against Ireland and Cyprus. Another key player absent from their ranks for that double-header due to injury was Dimitar Berbatov and the Manchester United striker returns.
World Cup champions Italy lead the Group Eight table with 14 points claimed from six matches, two ahead of Ireland who have the same number of qualifiers played. Bulgaria are currently five points adrift of Ireland but have a game in hand.
All three nations remain undefeated in the campaign to date.
Bulgaria squad for World Cup qualifier v Ireland (6 June 2009):
Goalkeepers: Dimitar Ivankov (Bursaspor), Nikolay Mihaylov (Twente Enschede)
Defenders: Elin Topuzakov (Hapoel Tel Aviv), Igor Tomasic (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Iliyan Stoyanov (Sanfreche), Zahari Sirakov (Amkar Perm)
Midfielders: Stilian Petrov (Aston Villa), Stanislav Angelov (Energie Cottbus), Dimitar Telkiyski (Hapoel Tel Aviv), Velizar Dimitrov (Metalurg Donetsk), Blagoy Georgiev (Terek Grozny)
Strikers: Dimitar Berbatov (Manchester United), Martin Petrov (Manchester City), Dimitar Rangelov (Energie Cottbus), Valeri Bojinov (Manchester City), Valeri Domovchiyski (Hertha Berlin), Dimitar Makriev (Ashdod).