Teams: Udinese,Lokomotiv Moscow,Russia NT
Defensive duo given finals chance
Bulgaria have recalled defenders Zlatomir Zagorcic and Ilian Stoianov for the friendly international against Russia in Sofia on Wednesday week.
Chance to shine
Zagorcic of PFC Litex Lovech is back in favour after being omitted for several recent matches, while PFC Levski Sofia's Stoianov returns from injury for what promises to be a stiff test against Bulgaria's fellow UEFA EURO 2004™ finalists at the Vassil Levski stadium. Both men will want to stake a claim for a place in the squad for Portugal.
Injury has deprived coach Plamen Markov of strikers Vladimir Manchev and Svetoslav Todorov, from Lille OSC and Portsmouth FC respectively, neither of whom is considered fit enough for selection. Defenders Zhivko Zhelev and Nikolai Krastev have been dropped and there is also no place for midfield player Daniel Borimirov and forward Martin Kamburov.
The match will be Bulgaria's second friendly of the year as they warm up for the EURO 2004™ finals in June. Markov's side lost 2-0 in Greece last month, and their next assignment after the Russia game will be against Cameroon on 28 April.
Zdravkov, Ivankov, Topuzakov, Kirilov, Zagorcic, Pazhin, Stoianov, I Petkov, M Petkov, Yanchev, Peev, M Hristov, Dimitrov, S Petrov, M Petrov, Lazarov, Berbatov, Jankovic.