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Malta Will Host Slovenia In Nail-Biting World Cup Qualifier This Friday

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Malta hosts Slovenia in a nail-biting encounter at the national stadium as part of the country’s – hopeful -World Cup qualifying campaign tomorrow night.

While typically whipping boys in qualification rounds, the Maltese minnows, led by Devis Mangia, have improved dramatically in the last year or so, taking home four points so far.

Slovenia is just three points ahead of Malta, making tonight’s game a must-win match for both sides, particularly for the arriving team who are still could be in the hunt for a qualification spot.

The last time the pair met on 4th September was a close encounter with Slovenia snatching a 1-0 win through a 44th minute penalty.

Tomorrow night, the Slovenians will have to face a boisterous local crowd – who are buzzing following the return of attendees following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The match kicks off at 8.45pm – and if you don’t have a ticket, make sure to show your support by following from home on TVM.

 

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It’s been a successful campaign so far – which has seen the team bag three points in the country’s first-ever world cup qualifier win.

Mangia has made a number of changes to the squad who took part in qualifiers against  Cyprus, Slovenia and Russia in September. The team will also travel to Cyprus to face their national team in a few days time. 

Defender James Brown, who plays for Scotland-based St Johnstone FC, has been given his first call-up after getting a Maltese passport.

MALTA SQUAD:

GOALKEEPERS 

Henry Bonello (Ħamrun Spartans); Jake Galea (Balzan); Matthew Grech (Pembroke Athleta). 

 DEFENDERS 

Samir Arab (Balzan); Steve Borg (Gżira United); James Brown (St. Johnstone FC – Scotland), Karl Micallef (Ħamrun Spartans); Zach Muscat (Casa Pia – POR); Enrico Pepe (Birkirkara); Kurt Shaw (Sliema Wanderers).

 MIDFIELDERS 

Cain Attard (Birkirkara); Ryan Camenzuli (Floriana); Triston Caruana (Valletta); Joseph Essien Mbong (Ħamrun Spartans); Adam Magri Overend (Floriana); Nicolai Muscat (Gżira United); Brandon Diego Paiber (Floriana FC); Steven Pisani (Gżira United); Nevin Portelli (Gżira United); Teddy Teuma (R.U. Saint Gilloise- BE); Dunstan Vella (Hibernians); Dexter Xuereb (St Lucia); Yannick Yankam (Birkirkara). 

FORWARDS 

Jurgen Degabriele (Hibernians FC); Shaun Dimech (Valletta FC); Luke Gambin (Hamrun Spartans FC); Jake Grech (Hibernians FC); Paul Mbong (Birkirkara FC); Luke Montebello (Birkirkara FC); Alexander Satariano (Frosinone Calcio.)

Forza Malta!

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Julian is the Editor at Lovin Malta with a particular interest in politics, the environment, social issues, and human interest stories.

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