Missing Players and team news:
Petrov has included a total of 10 uncapped players for March’s qualification matches, as experienced players such as Todor Nedelev, Anton Nedyalkov and Nikolay Mihaylov are nowhere to be seen. Bologna starlet Valentin Antov could be handed a start in defence alongside captain Petar Zanev – a man 15 years his senior – while Brazilian-born defender Cicinho should once again start at left-back. Antov’s fellow Serie A representative Andrey Galabinov will hope to lead the line for the hosts, while in-form Ludogorets attacker Kiril Despodov – on loan from Cagliari – is expected to provide support from the flanks. Switzerland’s Shaqiri has fond memories of playing Bulgaria and should earn a start this week despite his troubles at Liverpool, while Remo Freuler and Denis Zakaria will likely battle it out for the chance to partner captain Granit Xhaka in the middle. Zakaria is one of four Borussia Monchengladbach representatives in the Swiss squad, and his teammates Yann Sommer and Nico Elvedi are both in line to feature as well, but Breel Embolo’s spot up top is not entirely safe given the prolific club form of Mario Gavranovic. Fabian Schar is a notable absentee from the squad after his season-ending injury, so Ricardo Rodriguez and Manuel Akanji are likely to complete the back three alongside Elvedi.