Mihaylov ruled out

SOFIA: Bulgaria goalkeeper Nikolay Mihaylov has been ruled out of the team’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Norway on Thursday because of a stomach virus. The 27-year-old’s absence will be a major blow for Bulgaria as keeper Vladislav Stoyanov has also been ruled out of the team’s qualifiers this week because of a knee injury that will keep him sidelined for at least three weeks.

Bulgaria, who hope to keep alive their chances of reaching the European Championship finals for the first time since 2004, host Norway in Sofia and visit Italy in Palermo in another Group H qualifier on Sunday. Coach Ivaylo Petev will not be able to use Valeri Bojinov in the Norway clash as well after the striker failed to recover from an ankle injury.

Bulgaria are fourth in the standings with eight points from six matches, two points behind Norway at third.