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Mangia brings new faces for World Cup triple-header

Devis Mangia, the Head Coach of the National Teams, has selected an extended squad of 30 players ahead of the triple header which will see the national team play home to Cyprus and away at Slovenia and Russia as part of the national team’s commitments in Group H of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

Maltese fans will be back at the National Stadium to watch the national team host Cyprus on September 1. It will be the first game in front of supporters since head coach Devis Mangia was put at the helm of the team.

On Saturday September 4, Malta will play Slovenia in Ljubljana, and three days later, they take on Russia in Moscow. 

Mangia was forced to make a number of changes to the squad who played against Kosovo and Northern Ireland last june. 

Goalkeepers Matthew Grech and Cain Formosa, who are on the books of Pembroke Athleta and San Ġwann FC respectively were called up for the first time.   

Floriana’s Brandon Paiber is back in the senior squad and he teams up with club team-mate Jan Busuttil while there were also call-ups for Nevin Portelli, of Gżira United, and Sliema Wanderers’ forward Omar Elouni.

Mangia is without three key players in the form of Matthew Guillaumier and Luke Gambin of Ħamrun Spartans, and Hibernians’ Bjorn Kristensen who are recovering from injury.

On a more positive note, Steve Borg, Paul Mbong and Zach Muscat are back in the fray after missing the end-of-season camp in Austria.

 After having played three matches in Group H, Malta has one point to show following a 2-2 draw Slovakia. 

Devis Mangia will reduce his squad to 25 players before the departure to Slovenia. 

MALTA SQUAD

GOALKEEPERS 

Henry Bonello (Ħamrun Spartans); Cain Formosa (San Ġwann); Jake Galea (No Club); Matthew Grech (Pembroke Athleta).

DEFENDERS 

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

MIDFIELDERS 

Cain Attard (Birkirkara); Ryan Camenzuli (Floriana); Triston Caruana (Valletta); Juan Corbolan (Ħamrun Spartans); Joseph Mbong (Ħamrun Spartans); Nicolai Muscat (Gżira United); Brandon Paiber (Floriana); Steven Pisani (Gżira United); Nevin Portelli (Gżira United); Teddy Teuma (R.U. Saint Gilloise); Dunstan Vella (Hibernians); Dexter Xuereb (Gżira United); Yannick Yankam (Birkirkara).

FORWARDS 

Jan Busuttil (Floriana); Shaun Dimech (Valletta); Omar Elouni (Sliema Wanderers); Jake Grech (Hibernians); Paul Mbong (Birkirkara); Luke Montebello (Birkirkara); Alexander Satariano (Frosinone Calcio).

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