Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Farrugia names Malta squad for Kosovo and Azerbaijan matches
Oct 4, 2018
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General
National Team
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE
Malta coach Ray Farrugia
Malta coach Ray Farrugia

  • Malta coach Ray Farrugia

Malta coach Ray Farrugia has named a squad of 24 players for the upcoming UEFA Nations League Group D3 matches away to Kosovo on October 11 and Azerbaijan on October 14.


Farrugia has largely kept faith with the players who were part of the squad for the opening UEFA Nations League matches last month where Malta bounced back from a 3-1 away defeat to the Faroe Islands in Torshavn with a 1-1 draw against Azerbaijan at the National Stadium.

 

“We have retained the majority of the players who were with us for our first two UNL matches,” Farrugia said.

 

“We have been closely monitoring the form of the Maltese players in the domestic competitions and our squad selection is based on those assessments as well as the performance analysis statistics.”

 

Four players have earned a recall with Hibernians midfielder Bjorn Kristensen and Birkirkara duo defender Cain Attard and Jake Grech back in the frame while Floriana’s Clayton Failla is also making a return.

 

 

Failla was part of the provisional squad for Malta’s opening UEFA Nations League commitments but missed the trip to the Faroe Islands for family reasons.

 

“We are taking 24 players as Joseph Zerafa is suspended for the Kosovo game but will be available for the second match against Azerbaijan.

 

“There are also a few players with a yellow card and we need to take into account all possible scenarios for the second match.”

 

Andrè Schembri, who plays for Apollon Limassol, is the only foreign-based player in the squad as Pistoiese defender Zach Muscat, who missed the Azerbaijan draw due to injury, is still not 100 per cent fit. Luke Gambin asked not to be considered for selection to concentrate on his commitments with his English League Two club Crawley Town.

 

Kosovo are leading Group D3 with four points after opening their campaign with a 0-0 draw away to Azerbaijan and a 2-0 home win over Faroe Islands.

 

Faroe Islands are second on three points following their win over Malta, Azerbaijan have two points and Malta one.

 

The Malta coach is aware that the away games against Kosovo and Azerbaijan will be very tough but he reiterated his belief that our national team can hold their own.

 

“These matches will be very difficult as we’re playing two of the favourites to win the group away from home,” Farrugia said.

 

“I consider Kosovo as the strongest team in this group and playing them away is going to be a massive test for us.

 

“Azerbaijan also showed that they are a very competitive team when we played them at home last month but we can also take a lot of positives from our resilient performance in that game.

 

“If we approach the next games with the same motivation and determination, I’m confident that we can do well.”

 

The Malta squad is due to travel to Kosovo on a chartered flight this coming Tuesday.

 

MALTA SQUAD

 

GOALKEEPERS
Henry Bonello (Valletta); Andrew Hogg (Hibernians); Steve Sultana (Balzan).

 

DEFENDERS
 Andrei Agius (Hibernians; Ferdinando Apap (Victoria Hotspurs); Cain Attard (Birkirkara); Steve Borg (Valletta); Ryan Camilleri (Valletta); Clayton Failla (Floriana); Michael Johnson (Balzan); Joseph Mbong (Hibernians); Joseph Zerafa (Valletta)*.

 

MIDFIELDERS
Roderick Briffa (Gżira United); Juan Corbalan (Gżira United); Paul Fenech (Birkirkara); Jake Grech (Birkirkara); Bjorn Kristensen (Hibernians); Rowen Muscat (Valletta); Stephen Pisani (Floriana).

 

FORWARDS
Andrew Cohen (Gżira United); Alfred Effiong (Balzan); Jean Paul Farrugia (Sliema Wanderers); Michael Mifsud (Birkirkara); Andrè Schembri (Apollon Limassol, Cyprus).

 

*Joseph Zerafa is available only for second match

 

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