Following a loss to Czech Republic in the Euro 2020 qualifying stages, England will now take on Bulgaria at Stadion Vasil Levski. In this article we explain how to watch the England vs Bulgaria live stream on what TV channel.
What is Euro 2020?
Euro 2020, otherwise known as the UEFA European Football Championship, is the 16th instalment of the men's football tournament that has since 1960 taken place every four years.
All 55 UEFA member states get a chance to qualify forin the event, but only 24 teams make it through to the final tournament.
Though Euro 2020 doesn’t officially begin until 12 June next year, we’re already seeing some football action with the qualifying stages, which tie up this November.
Portugal are the defending champs from Euro 2016, but neither Portugal or any of the countries in which matches are held will gain automatic entry to the tournament.
Previous winners have included Spain (1964, 2008, 2012), Greece (2004), France (1984, 2000), Denmark (1992), Netherlands (1988), Germany (1972, 1980, 1996), the then Czechoslovakia (1976), Italy (1968) and the Soviet Union (1960), but never England. We came third back in 1968, and joint-third in 1996, so it's time for England to bring it home.
When is Euro 2020?
The main tournament begins on 12 June 2020, with the final on 12 July 2020, though the qualifiers are taking place now and until November 2019.
Where is Euro 2020 hosted?
This year there is no single destination for the tournament, with matches spread over 12 European cities in 12 countries. UEFA President Michael Platini notes that this is to mark the 60th birthday of the tournament.
It is at London’s Wembley Stadium that the most important matches will be held, however, with the UK hosting both the semi-finals and final. Previously home to Euro 1996, this will be the second time Wembley has had the pleasure.
Other Euro 2020 hosts include:
- Olympic Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan
- Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
- Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy
- Krestovsky Stadium, St Petersburg, Russia
- Parekn Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark
- Pauskas Arena, Budapest, Hungary
- Johan Cruyff Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Republic of Ireland
- Arena Nationala, Bucharest, Romania
- Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland
- San Mames, Bilbao, Spain
Which football teams will compete in Euro 2020?
All 55 European teams are split into 10 groups, as outlined below. Following a series of matches against others in their group only the top two teams in each will be put through to the final tournament.
Group A: England, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Kosovo
Group B: Portugal, Ukraine, Serbia, Lithuania, Luxembourg
Group C: Netherlands, Germany, Northern Ireland, Estonia, Belarus
Group D: Switzerland, Denmark, Republic of Ireland, Georgia, Gibraltar
Group E: Croatia, Wales, Slovakia, Hungary, Azerbaijan
Group F: Spain, Sweden, Norway, Romania, Faroe Islands, Malta
Group G: Poland, Austria, Israel, Slovenia, Macedonia, Latvia
Group H: France, Iceland, Turkey, Albania, Moldova, Andorra
Group I: Belgium, Russia, Scotland, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, San Marino
Group J: Italy, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Finland, Greece, Armenia, Liechtenstein
However, this is only half the story, and some of you might have already spotted that 10 multiplied by two is actually 20, not 24. So where do the extra four come from?
To understand this we need to look back to the 2018-2019 UEFA Nations League. There were 16 group winners in this tournament, all of whom are guaranteed a place in the Euro 2020 play-offs, which take place following the qualifying stage in March 2020.
Chances are those teams will have already secured a place in the Euro 2020 tournament, of course, and in which case their play-off position is passed down to the next best team in their tier. One successful team in each group then goes through to the Euro 2020 tournament.
UEFA Nations League 2018-2019 group winners
League A: Portugal, England, Switzerland, Netherlands
League B: Ukraine, Denmark, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sweden
League C: Finland, Norway, Scotland, Serbia
League D: Georgia, Belarus, Macedonia, Kosovo
Is England guaranteed a place in Euro 2020?
No. Despite hosting the Euro 2020 semi-finals and final, this no longer guarantees teams a place in the tournament. England does, however, benefit from an additional chance to get through.
Thanks to its success in the 2018-2019 Nations League it is guaranteed a Euro 2020 play-off place, which will come in handy if it does not get through the initial qualifying stage.
In reality it is unlikely that England will not play in Euro 2020, but let’s not jinx it.
When is England playing next in Euro 2020?
England will compete against Bulgaria in the qualifying stages on Monday 14 October 2019 at 7.45pm UK time.
Following this it will face the following teams:
- England vs Montenegro, Thursday 14 November 2019
- England vs Kosovo, Sunday 17 November 2019
How to watch England vs Bulgaria in the UK: What TV channel
If you’re in the UK this is really easy: you can watch the Euro 2020 qualifier on ITV 1, with coverage airing on 14 October between 7pm and 10pm.
ITV is available on your TV, online at itv.com/hub/itv, or via the ITV Hub mobile apps for iOS and Android. You’ll also be able to watch ITV live using any Freeview app.
To watch live you will need a TV Licence, of course, and are exempt only if you tune in via catch-up after the broadcast has finished.
How to watch England vs Bulgaira from abroad
It is possible to watch ITV Hub from abroad though you will need to either sign up for ITV Hub+ (£3.99/month with a seven-day free trial) or use a VPN. The latter might be necessary if you’re outside Europe.
A VPN (or virtual private network) is software that lets you mask your IP address in order to appear as if you are somewhere you are not. So, you could be in Spain and pretend to be browsing from the UK, then access ITV Hub or Freeview services as normal.
We’ve reviewed a bunch of VPNs but our current top pick is NordVPN. Because streaming services are wise to the use of VPNs you might need to try a few different servers before you find one that works.