Republic of Ireland v Bulgaria Live
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Republic of Ireland will be looking to maintain their excellent start to their qualifying campaign by consolidating their second placed spot when they take on Bulgaria in their next World Cup qualifying match on Saturday. Catch all the live World Cup 2010 qualifiers by signing up with us here on Live Sport Network.
Three wins and a draw from their first four matches has seen Ireland remain in touch with Italy at the top of the group table and move seven points clear of Bulgaria in the race for the second qualifying spot.
With Ireland scheduled to play Italy next week, manager Giovanni Trapattoni will be keen to go into the game on the back of a comfortable victory as he attempts to steer his side to the World Cup finals after missing out last time around.
Trapattoni has named an unchanged squad for the two matches with the only addition being that of Celtic defender Darren O'Dea. The Ireland coach refused to comment on Stephen Ireland's decision to take a break from international commitments adding that it is the player's decision whether to play or not.
Meanwhile Bulgaria will be without their inspirational captain Dimitar Berbatov after the striker injured his ankle during Manchester United's defeat against Fulham on the weekend.
With his side playing catch up so early in the campaign, coach Stanimir Stoilov admitted that while it was a big blow in losing three of his most important players, with Martin Petrov and Alexandar Tunchev also out of action, Bulgaria will have to win its next two matches and hope that Ireland slip up if they are to have any hopes of getting their campaign back on track.
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