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Malta handed favourable draw in Nations League

The Malta men’s national team was handed a favourable draw for the 2022/2023 Nations League campaign as Devis Mangia’s side were pitted in a three-team group against San Marino and one between Cyprus or Estonia.

Cyprus and Estonia will face each other in a two-legged play-out in March 2022 that will determine who will get promoted into League C and who will eventually drop into League D.

The seven teams in League D were split into two groups, one of four and the other of three.

The third edition of the Nations League will kick off in June 2022 with the Finals scheduled for the same month a year later. All teams will play each other home and away in June and September 2022, with four of the six matchdays scheduled for June due to the winter scheduling of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The group winners in League D will both be promoted for the 2024-2025 competition.

The format for the Euro 2024 qualifying is not yet confirmed, including any details of how teams might earn play-off spots via the 2022-2023 UEFA Nations League.

The EURO 2024 competition regulations are expected to be approved and published by June 2022.

This will be Mangia’s second appearance in the Nations League after steering the Malta national team to a second place in the four-team group in the previous edition, recording two wins and three draws in six games.

Ranked 175th, Malta will face San Marino – who sit 210th in the FIFA Rankings – for the second time in their history. The previous encounter dates back to a 2012 friendly when Malta defeated San Marino 3-2.

On the other hand, should Cyprus – ranked 105th – drop into League D, they would meet Malta for the second time in a row in a UEFA competition after losing and drawing to Mangia’s side in the recent 2022 World Cup qualifications.

As per Estonia (107th), Malta faced them six times and registered two wins – in 1993 and 2004. The most recent encounter was a 3-0 defeat when former coach Tom Saintfiet guided Malta on his debut in 2017.

LEAGUE D:

GROUP D1: Latvia, Kazakhstan/Moldova, Andorra, Liechtenstein.

GROUP D2: San Marino, Cyprus/Estonia, Malta

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