Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Malta to face Azerbaijan, Faroe Islands and Kosovo
Jan 24, 2018
Posted in:
General
National Team

Malta will face Azerbaijan, Faroe Islands and Kosovo in Group 3 of League D of the UEFA Nations League.


The draw of this brand new UEFA competition was held on Wednesday afternoon at the SwissTech Convention Centre in Lausanne.

 

The group phase matches will be played on a home and away basis with double-headers on three matchdays in September, October and November 2018. The fixture calendar is expected to be published in the coming hours.

 

Malta coach Tom Saintfiet said the outcome of the draw left him with mixed feelings.

 

“Mixed feelings to be honest,” Saintfiet told www.mfa.com.mt.

 

“On one hand, I’m very happy to be playing Faroe Islands because in the past, I coached and played in the country but one the other hand, it’s quite a difficult group we have.

 

“There were maybe two nations in the whole set-up who could be considered weaker than us, San Marino and Gibraltar, but now we have Kosovo who are 178th in the world, Azerbaijan 118th and Faroe Islands 97.

 

“We have no weak opponents. It will be a tough task... even if for the outside world, some nations like Faroe Islands seem like small countries, they are tough and it will be a hard battle to gain points.

 

“We have to start this competition trying to win at home, at least one or two games, and then we will see how far we can go.”

 

The UEFA Nations League will see the participation of the 55 member associations of UEFA with teams split into four divisions according to their strength.

 

The League D draw, conducted by former Belarus and Arsenal playmaker Alexander Hleb, featured 16 teams that were divided into four groups of four teams each.

 

An added bonus of the UEFA Nations League is that it will offer teams another chance to qualify for the UEFA EURO 2020 final tournament, with four sides from each of the four leagues qualifying through play-off matches, scheduled for March 2020.

 

NEW TROPHY


The UEFA Nations League trophy was unveiled by UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin during Wednesday’s draw.

 

Saintfiet is looking forward to the UEFA Nations League.

 

“I believe that it’s good to be playing against similar teams as us,” the Belgian coach said.

 

“We need to study a little bit more about Kosovo but we can change our style. We can play more positive football, we’re going to try and play more attacking football and hopefully it results in goals and also victories and points.

 

“That’s our aim but we can never underestimate our opponents. I’m looking forward to these games and hopefully our fans can enjoy these matches and also some positive results.”

 

LEAGUE D

 

GROUP 1
Georgia, Latvia, Kazakhstan, Andorra

 

GROUP 2
Belarus, Luxembourg, Moldova, San Marino

 

GROUP 3
Azerbaijan, Faroe Islands, Malta, Kosovo

 

GROUP 4
Macedonia, Armenia, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar

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