Georgia head into Sunday’s UEFA Nations League fixture with Bulgaria knowing that victory could be enough to seal promotion to the second tier.
At a time when the home side sit five points clear at the top of Group C4, Bulgaria are seven points adrift and coming off the back of one of the most deflating results in their history.
After losing five successive games between June and October last year, Georgia looked likely to spend more time in the international doldrums under Willy Sagnol.
However, the Frenchman has spearheaded one of the most unexpected revivals on this stage in recent years, Georgia having now recorded seven wins and one draw from their last eight outings.
Although the 2-0 win over Sweden late last year remains the standout result, the Crusaders have gone goal crazy in this competition, scoring 12 times in three outings.
The latest spurt of strikes came in North Macedonia on Thursday, all three of their goals being netted after the break as they took control of Group C4.
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia contributed his third of the campaign during that match, but Sagnol will take greater satisfaction from how the goals have been shared around a united squad.
At a time when Georgia are on the brink of promotion, Bulgaria are in complete disarray, a change in head coach being followed by embarrassment in Gibraltar.
While one of the minnows of international football are improving all the time, the 1-1 draw is their most notable result since emerging victorious in Armenia back in 2018.
Georgi Ivanov, the interim boss, will be grateful for an instant opportunity for his side to redeem themselves, anything other than victory leaving them out of contention for promotion.
Realistically, that should not even be in their thinking, Bulgaria having not won in seven games and being without an away success since 2018.
Georgia Nations League form:
Georgia form (all competitions):
Bulgaria Nations League form:
Bulgaria form (all competitions):
We say: Georgia 2-1 Bulgaria
After such a disappointing result earlier this week, you have to expect a response from Bulgaria. However, that is not to say that it will be enough, and our full backing goes to Georgia who are starting to look like they could be a force when it comes to qualification for Euro 2024.