Malta has been placed in the same group as World Cup runners-up Croatia in its qualification group for the 2022 edition of football’s most elite competition.
Group H also includes Slovakia, Russia, Slovenia and Cyprus, a pretty tough group for Malta to navigate.
The group favourites will undoubtably be Croatia, who dazzled football fans at the 2018 World Cup in Russia before eventually losing 4-2 in the final to France. With the likes of Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic and Ivan Perisic in their team, Malta will have a lot to handle.
However, it is worth remembering that Malta had managed to hold Croatia to a 1-1 draw back in 2005, courtesy of a beautiful free kick by Stephen Wellman.
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However, the national team has been injected with a fresh dose of optimism after its performance at this year’s UEFA Nations League, where it only narrowly failed to top the group.
Cover photo: Left: Luka Modric (Photo: Антон Зайцев), Right: Malta Football Association