15 October 2019 08:59
Bulgaria's ministry of interior has confirmed the death of a British national in Sofia before England's Euro 2020 qualifier. The incident comes after an England fan was taken to hospital in the early hours of Monday with a broken arm after reportedly clashing with a group of Bulgarians. Around 3,400 England fans are believed to be in Sofia for Monday's match, with Gareth Southgate's side due to kick off at 9.45pm local time. Fourteen England fans were arrested in Prague on Friday before the Euro 2020 qualifier against the Czech Republic after they started throwing bottles towards armed police in riot gear. England will be looking to bounce back from their first qualifying defeat for over a decade as they look to book a spot at Euro 2020 next summer when they visit Bulgaria.
An insipid performance saw Gareth Southgate's side slip to a 2-1 loss in the Czech Republic on Friday but they can book their spot at the European Championship if they win and Kosovo fail to defeat Montenegro. BULGARIA 0-1 ENGLAND | RASHFORD (6) Bulgaria XI: Iliev, Pashov, Terziev, Hadzhiev, Nazev, Wanderson, Kostaninov, Despodov, Samov, Popov, Isa. England XI: Pickford, Trippier, Maguire, Mings, Chilwell, Winks, Henderson, Barkley, Sterling, Kane, Rashford. BULGARIA 0-1 ENGLAND 14: Harry Winks has made a decent start. BULGARIA 0-1 ENGLAND | RASHFORD 6: GOAL! BULGARIA 0-0 ENGLAND 1: And we're underway folks!
The standings 19:15: Despite defeat to the Czech Republic, Gareth Southgate's side still top Group A and can qualify with victory over Bulgaria if third-placed Kosovo lose to Montenegro. Proceeds to pick Pickford, Maguire, Winks, Henderson, Barkley, Kane and Rashford. England captain Harry Kane helped himself to a hat-trick as the Three Lions ran roughshod over the Bulgaria defence at Wembley last month, the 4-0 scoreline potentially even flattering the visitors. 18:50: Gareth Southgate and his players have been hit with questions surrounding potential racist abuse throughout the week leading into the game. There will be 5,000 empty seats due to UEFA sanctions after Bulgaria supporters were charged with racism offences in qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Kosovo earlier in the year.
England were 4-0 up by half-time, though tonight's football has been overshadowed by two stoppages as match officials attempted to deal with racist chanting from the stands. The game was briefly stopped as step one of Uefa's anti-racism protocol took place in the 28th minute - a stadium announcement condemning racist abuse and stating the referee would stall or abandon the match should it continue. Harry Kane was shown in conversation with referee Ivan Bebek on the halfway line and Gareth Southgate was also talking to a number of his players as the announcement was made. The match got underway again, but there was another pause in proceedings after 43 minutes, Southgate again in conversation with the officials on the touchline and the players joining the manager on the side of the pitch. At the other end, England break and Kane tees up Rashford, but Iliev saves smartly before Sterling sidefoots wide from the rebound. 48 mins: First decent chance of the half comes out of nothing really, as Henderson's heavy touch runs nicely into the path of Kane and he forces Iliev to parry. | Bulgaria 0-4 England | Raheem Sterling 45+4' In the midst of it all, England have scored some really nice goals. The entire England team are now in conversation with Gareth Southgate and the referee. 42 mins: Gareth Southgate is talking to the fourth official as we speak, about a second complaint because the racist abuse has not stopped. Advertisement 40 mins: Good movement from England's forwards. ES COVERAGE Dan Kilpatrick is in Sofia Barkley has his second after more sumptuous play from Harry Kane, who really is England's most creative player and best finisher in one. | Bulgaria 0-3 England | Ross Barkley 32' Back underway, and back in the goals. ES COVERAGE Dan Kilpatrick is in Sofia Another of Southgate's big selection calls comes off as Ross Barkley – in for Mason Mount – doubles England's lead. Can't see the Bulgaria vs England LIVE blog? England XI: Pickford, Trippier, Mings, Maguire, Chilwell, Winks, Henderson, Barkley, Sterling, Kane, Rashford England subs: Henderson, Pope, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Keane, Rice, Sancho, Tomori, Abraham, Mount, Wilson Prediction: Bulgaria 0-2 England England will be looking to return to winning ways this evening as they bid to bounce back from defeat by the Czech Republic on Friday. Gareth Southgate will likely ring the changes this evening as he looks for a response from his players in Sofia. When is Bulgaria vs England? England will take on Bulgaria in Sofia at 7.45pm (UK time) on Monday evening. England (probable): Pickford; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Maguire, Chilwell; Winks, Henderson, Barkley; Rashford, Sterling, Kane