SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgaria keeper Vladislav Stoyanov has been ruled out of the team’s Euro 2016 qualifiers this week because of a knee injury, the domestic football union (BFU) said.
Coach Ivaylo Petev has called up Blagoy Makendzhiev to replace the injured Ludogorets keeper, who will undergo surgery on Thursday.
Bulgaria, who hope to keep alive their chances of reaching the European championship finals for the first time since 2004, host Norway in Sofia on Thursday and visit Italy in Palermo in another Group H qualifier on Sunday.
Striker Valeri Bojinov is doubtful for the Norway clash after sustaining an ankle injury last week.
Bulgaria are fourth in the standings with eight points from six matches, two points behind Norway. Croatia are top on 14, followed by Italy on 12.
The top two qualify for the finals along with the best third-placed side.
Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; editing by Clare Fallon