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Mangia names final squad for Slovakia, Croatia qualifiers

Malta coach Devis Mangia has named a squad of 26 players for the upcoming 2022 World Cup European Group H Qualifiers away to Slovakia and Croatia.

The Maltese contingent will travel on a chartered flight to Slovakia this afternoon, the day after the team produced a dynamic performance in the opening qualifier against Russia who needed a last-gasp goal to seal a 3-1 victory at the National Stadium.

From the initial 30-man squad selected by Mangia ahead of the qualifier against Russia, four players – Myles Beerman (Sliema Wanderers), Jan Busuttil (Floriana), Triston Caruana (Valletta) and Nevin Portelli (Gżira United) – are not making the trip to Slovakia.

On Saturday, Malta play their second Group H qualifier against Slovakia at the Antona Malatinského Stadium (20.45) before heading to Croatia for the third qualifier on Tuesday, March 30 at the HNK Rijeka Stadium.

Slovakia opened their commitments with a goalless draw away to Cyprus yesterday while Croatia lost 1-0 away to Slovenia. On Saturday, Russia will host Slovenia in Sochi and Croatia meet Cyprus in Rijeka.

THE SQUAD

GOALKEEPERS: Henry Bonello (Valletta); Matthew Calleja Cremona (Hibernians); Jake Galea (Sliema Wanderers).

DEFENDERS: Andrei Agius (Hibernians); Steve Borg (Gżira United); Karl Micallef (Ħamrun Spartans); Zach Muscat (Casa Pia AC – Portugal); Enrico Pepe (Birkirkara); Kurt Shaw (Sliema Wanderers).

MIDFIELDERS: Ryan Camenzuli (Floriana); Juan Corbalan (Ħamrun Spartans); Matthew Guillaumier (Ħamrun Spartans); Bjorn Kristensen (Hibernians); Joseph Mbong (Ħamrun Spartans); Nikolai Muscat (Gżira United); Steven Pisani (Gżira United); Teddy Teuma (Royale Union Saint-Gilloise – Belgium); Dexter Xuereb (Gżira United).

FORWARDS: Jurgen Degabriele (Hibernians); Shaun Dimech (Valletta); Luke Gambin (Newport County AFC – England); Jake Grech (Hibernians); Paul Mbong (Birkirkara); Luke Montebello (Birkirkara); Kyrian Nwoko (Valletta); Alexander Satariano (Sliema Wanderers).

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