Malta U21 drawn with Spain in Group C of UEFA U21 qualifiers

The Malta Under-21 team will face Spain, Russia, Slovakia, Northern Ireland and Lithuania in Group C of the 2021-23 European Championship qualifying campaign, scheduled to kick off in March.

The Malta U-21 team will be led by a new coach in this upcoming competition with Gilbert Agius taking over from the long-serving Silvio Vella who will be taking up a new role within the Malta FA technical sector.

Spain are the biggest attraction of the group, emerging from Pot 1, with Russia coming out of Pot 2 in today’s draw, held at UEFA’s Nyon headquarters. Russia are also in Malta’s group for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, also starting in March.

The other nations in Group C are Lithuania and Northern Ireland, the latter having also been in the Malta U-21 group in the last qualifying competition. The first meeting, played in Antrim in September 2019, ended goalless while Northern Ireland prevailed 2-0 at the Centenary Stadium last September.

The 53 teams will compete for 14 places alongside final tournament co-hosts Georgia and Romania.

2021-23 Under-21 EURO qualifying draw

Group A: Croatia, Austria, Norway, Finland, Azerbaijan, Estonia

Group B: Germany, Poland, Israel, Hungary, Latvia, San Marino
Group C: Spain, Russia, Slovakia, Northern Ireland, Lithuania, Malta
Group D: Portugal, Greece, Iceland*, Belarus, Cyprus, Liechtenstein
Group E: Netherlands, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Wales, Moldova, Gibraltar
Group F: Italy, Sweden, Republic of Ireland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Luxembourg
Group G: England, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Albania, Kosovo, Andorra
Group H: France, Serbia, Ukraine, North Macedonia, Faroe Islands, Armenia
Group I: Denmark, Belgium, Turkey, Scotland, Kazakhstan