Matthaus calls up uncapped duo

SOFIA - Bulgaria coach Lothar Matthaus has named two uncapped players in a 21-man squad for the Euro 2012 qualifiers at home to England on September 2 and away to Switzerland four days later.

Chernomorets Burgas midfielder Tsvetomir Tsonkov and Cherno More striker Georgi Bozhilov could both make their debuts after impressing in the Bulgarian league.

Matthaus will have to cope without central defender Apostol Popov and midfielder Chavdar Yankov, both of whom are sidelined with long-term injuries.

Sporting Lisbon striker Valeri Bojinov has once again been left out with the 50-year-old German coach saying he needs to play more games after recovering from injury.

Experienced Premier League duo Stilian Petrov and Martin Petrov and Twente Enchede keeper Nikolay Mihaylov are back in the squad after missing the friendly game against Belarus this month.

Crystal Palace defender Alexander Tunchev returned to the squad for the first time since 2009 and there is also a place for Steaua Bucharest defender Valentin Iliev who has played just once in the last two years.

"England are one of the best teams in the world and it'll be a difficult game for us but I hope it'll be a difficult one for them too," Matthaus told reporters.

"They'll be under pressure as they're the favorites and we're aiming to spring a surprise."

England top the standings, ahead of Montenegro on goal difference, with 11 points from five games.

Switzerland and Bulgaria have five points while Wales are bottom with no points.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Nikolay Mihaylov (Twente Enschede), Vladislav Stoyanov (Sherif Tiraspol)

Defenders: Ivan Bandalovski (CSKA Sofia), Ivan Ivanov (Partizan Belgarde), Valentin Iliev (Steaua Bucharest), Nikolay Bodurov (Litex Lovech), Petar Zanev (Litex Lovech), Zhivko Milanov (Vaslui), Alexander Tunchev (Crystal Palace), Kostadin Stoyanov (CSKA Sofia)

Midfielders: Stilian Petrov (Aston Villa), Stanislav Manolev (PSV Eindhoven), Blagoy Georgiev (Terek Grozny), Tsvetomir Tsonkov (Chernomorets Burgas), Marquinhos (Anorthosis Famagusta), Ivelin Popov (Gaziantepspor), Georgi Sarmov (Kasimpasa)

Strikers: Spas Delev (CSKA Sofia), Martin Petrov (Bolton Wanderers), Tsvetan Genkov (Wisla Krakow), Georgi Bozhilov (Cherno More Varna).


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