Debuts, dismissals and hat-tricks – England v Bulgaria past meetings

England are preparing to host Bulgaria as they continue their qualification campaign for next summer’s European Championship.

The two nations have met on 10 previous occasions and Gareth Southgate will be keen to maintain the Three Lions’ unbeaten record when they renew acquaintances on Saturday at Wembley.

Bulgaria 0 England 0, June 1962
England’s first game against Bulgaria is a World Cup group match in Chile, with Johnny Haynes captain of the team in what was his penultimate international appearances.

England 1 Bulgaria 1, December 1968
Geoff Hurst scored England’s equaliser as the World Cup holders host Bulgaria at Wembley for the first time in an international friendly, Georgi Asparuhov having put the visitors ahead.

England v West Germany
England’s World Cup winners were held 101 by by Bulgaria in 1968, with Geoff Hurst (right) on the scoresheet (PA Archive)

Bulgaria 0 England 1, June 1974
Frank Worthington scored the winning goal as caretaker manager Joe Mercer oversaw a friendly win at the Vasil Levski national stadium in Sofia.

Bulgaria 0 England 3, June 1979
Kevin Keegan, Dave Watson and Peter Barnes scored the goals as Ron Greenwood’s team were convincing winners in a European Championship qualifier.

Glenn Hoddle
Glenn Hoddle made his England debut against Bulgaria in 1979 (PA Archive)

England 2 Bulgaria 0, November 1979
The return fixture in European Championship qualification brings another victory for England courtesy of goals from Watson and a debutant called Glenn Hoddle.

England 1 Bulgaria 0, March 1996
Terry Venables’ side continued their preparations for Euro 96 with a win thanks to an early goal from Les Ferdinand at Wembley.

Michael Owen
England were held by Bulgaria at Wembley in 1998 (Tony Harris/PA)

England 0 Bulgaria 0, October 1998
Hoddle is now the England manager and the Three Lions’ four-match winning streak against Bulgaria ends with a goalless stalemate in European Championship qualifying.

Bulgaria 1 England 1, June 1999
The return fixture in European Championship qualification saw England struggle again as Alan Shearer scored in another disappointing draw under Keegan, with Bulgaria having had Martin Petrov sent off before the hour.

Jermain Defoe
Jermain Defoe struck a hat-trick against Bulgaria in 2010 (David Davies/PA)

England 4 Bulgaria 0, September 2010
Jermain Defoe scored a hat-trick as Fabio Capello’s side opened their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign with their biggest victory against Bulgaria. Adam Johnson netted the other goal at Wembley.

Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney helped England to victory in their last meeting with Bulgaria (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Bulgaria 0 England 3, September 2011
England’s most recent meeting with Bulgaria came eight years ago in Sofia. A Gary Cahill goal and two more from Wayne Rooney moved Capello’s men a step closer to Euro 2012 qualification.

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