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Estonia lose two key players for Malta showdown

Estonian defender Marten Kuusk has been ruled out from the Malta match through injury.

Estonia have lost two key players through injury ahead of Friday’s decisive UEFA Nations League match at the Le Coq Arena.

The Estonians are firm favourites to top Group D2 as following their 2-1 win over Malta at the National Stadium they are currently sharing top spot in the group with six points, but have a game in hand as they face San Marino in their final fixture on Monday.

The Estonians just need a point from Friday’s match or else avoid losing by a two-goal margin to ensure they secure promotion to League C.

For coach Thomas Haberli the build up to the match was marred by the news that Rapid Bucharest midfielder Mattias Kait and Ujpest defender Marten Kuusk were forced to pull out of the squad due to injury.

Kait is expected to be out of action for up to four weeks while Estonian vice-captain Kuusk, is also nursing an injury.

Apart from the loss of Kuusk and Kait, the Estonian coach can bank on a full squad as Taijo Teniste, Henrik Ojamaa, Rasmus Peetson and Martin Miller, who were plagued with minor problems, should have declared themselves fit for the match.

“Unfortunately, Kuusk and Kait cannot join the team, but other players must be ready to replace them now,” Haberli said.

“They have shown that they are ready for this both in previous national team gatherings and while playing in the club. We have seen good quality in training this week. It’s like that in football that if some are not here, others will get a chance.”

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