On Saturday, October 10, Andorra host Malta at the Estadi Nacional for their UEFA Nations League clash.
Malta players have a spring in their step, having won their mid-week friendly match against Gibraltar with goals by Kyrian Nwoko and Triston Caruana. It wasn’t a perfect performance – yet it was coach Devis Mangia’s first win as Malta coach, and it will certainly boost the players’ morale.
On the other hand, Moldova lost their mid-week friendly against Cape Verde. And once again, the Moldovans showed what is probably their biggest weakness – their lack of firing power in front of goal. In fact, they are currently on a three-match goalless run in competitive matches.
Group D might not be the most attractive of groups in the UEFA Nations League – yet it is certainly challenging as there isn’t a huge performance and talent gap between the four teams. And it’s a very open group, as all four teams – Faroe Islands, Latvia, Malta and Andorra – can all potentially make it to the next round.
So who will come on top?
Jesus Alvarez’s team is one of the weakest – yet it boasts some experienced players, including 40-year-old captain Ildefons Lima. Marc Pujol, 38, is also very experienced and is expected to start against Malta. A victory for Andorra would come as quite a surprise – but a draw is not such a difficult prospect. In fact, in the previous two encounters against Malta – in 2000 and 2002 – both matches ended in a one-all draw.
Malta, on the other hand, know that aiming for the three points is within their power and they can rely on individual players’ international experience, including Zach Muscat, Steve Borg – and captain Andre Schembri. Moreover, the Maltese players know that only victory can bring them back to the hunt for possible promotion.
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