Following a somewhat mixed but ultimately successful Olympics, Marvin Sordell has been recalled into the England U-21 squad under Team Great Britain manager Stuart Pearce for the team's upcoming U-21 European Championship qualifiers. Meanwhile, Bulgaria are gearing up for their World Cup 2014 qualifiers with matches coming up shortly. Bulgarian coach Lyuboslav Penev has decided to go it without veteran Martin Petrov.
The young England squad has matches fast approaching against Azerbaijan and Norway. Marvin Sordell, who has become more involved with the side recently (especially with the Olympics now under his belt), was never really a doubt. Stuart Pearce has been forced to leave out Birmingham City goalkeeper Jack Butland and Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain due to their involvement with the senior side. Pearce also has not handed down a debut cap to Liverpool's Raheem Sterling after his weekend performance against Manchester City. Instead, Blackpool's Thomas Ince and Leicester City's Ben Marshall are in the side.
Bulgaria, on the other hand, seem to be in very much a transition period. They will head into their World Cup qualifiers without Martin Petrov, Valeri Bojinov, Dimitar Berbatov, and Stiliyan Petrov. Bulgaria face Italy on September 7 and Armenia four days after that. Petrov's exclusion has led many to believe that his international days are very much numbered. Martin Petrov is 33 years old and has had 89 appearances for the Bulgarian national team.