SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria coach Lyuboslav Penev has called up teenage Litex Lovech midfielder Simeon Slavchev and two other uncapped players to his 25-man squad for World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Denmark.
Bulgaria hosts Malta on March 22 and is away to Denmark four days later. The game against Malta will be held in an empty stadium after Bulgarian fans were found guilty by FIFA of racist behavior in the qualifier against Denmark in October.
Penev also called up newcomers Slavia Sofia defender Radoslav Dimitrov and Botev Plovdiv striker Todor Nedelev. Bulgaria is second in Group B with six points from four games, four points behind leader Italy. The Czech Republic is third with five points from three games.
Goalkeepers: Nikolay Mihaylov (FC Twente), Vladislav Stoyanov (Ludogorets), Plamen Iliev (Levski Sofia)
Defenders: Pavel Vidanov (Zaglebie Lubin), Petar Zanev (Volin Lutsk), Yordan Minev (Ludogorets), Radoslav Dimitrov (Slavia Sofia), Nikolay Bodurov (Litex), Iliya Milanov (Litex), Ivan Ivanov (Partizan Belgrade), Veselin Minev (Botev Plovdiv)
Midfielders: Georgi Sarmov (Kasimpasa), Stanislav Manolev (Fulham), Vladimir Gadzhev (Levski Sofia), Svetoslav Dyakov (Ludogorets), Georgi Iliev (Cherno More), Georgi Milanov (Litex), Hristo Zlatinski (Lokomotiv Plovdiv), Simeon Slavchev (Litex), Emil Gargorov (Ludogorets)
Forwards: Ivelin Popov (Kuban Krasnodar), Valeri Bojinov (Vicenza), Iliyan Mitsanski (Ingolstadt), Alexander Tonev (Lech Poznan), Todor Nedelev (Botev Plovdiv)