(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Bulgaria begins the process of qualifying for Euro 2012 tomorrow and, I gotta confess, I really hate Group G. Three out of four Villans playing one group? Have some fairness, Euros. You should be considering me and my desires when creating the groups. Group B has Russia, Slovakia and Ireland--you're telling me I have to chose between Andrey Arshavin, Marek Hamsik and Richard Dunne? Well, obviously I'm pulling green but I want all of those teams to go through. Let's rearrange Group D (France, Romania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Belarus, Albania and Luxembourg) so that any of those teams can go out, and my repre and the little meerkat can go through.
Right. Focus. Bulgaria.
Apologies to you, Captain, but I won't be pulling for your side come tomorrow. I'm truly sorry that your first outing has to be against England, but there are many who think that you lot could come away with at least a point.
Of course, that could be just the English doom and gloom. Bulgaria pulled off a fourth-place finish in the 1994 World Cup, but have failed to qualify for the past three tournaments. As for the Euros, they've qualified twice, in 1996 and 2004, but have never moved beyond Round 1. The country has lost their talisman in Dimitar Berbatov, who's said he no longer wants to play for his country, and replacing their top scorer is a challenge.
Captain Petrov will be joined by Martin Petrov, who is leading the left side of the attack for Bolton this season. According to the Guardian, the winger believes that England are going through a tough time, so Bulgaria just might benefit. The team has a couple youngsters in the goal--22 and 23 years of age--which might be of some concern, particularly since it was a keeping error that led to the loss against Russia in Bulgaria's friendly last month. We could make a joke here about England's keeping skills, but anyone watching the first match of the Premier League season probably isn't giggling about Joe Hart.
More about England later.