Malta take on England in their second Group C match of the Euro 2024 qualifiers.
Their opening game of what is a tough group saw Malta go down 2-0 to Italy, a result that may have flattered Roberto Mancini’s side.
Now Malta face another mammoth task. Can Michele Marcoloni put a dent in England’s quest for a place in the Euro 2024 finals in Germany? Malta is coming off a 1-0 win against Luxembourg in a friendly last week. That should give the Maltese lads a lift ahead of the Friday night clash with England.
For Gareth Southgate, the game against Malta, the first of a double-header, they play North Macedonia three days later at Old Trafford, is throwing up a few headaches selection wise.
Southgate and England have some issues across the pitch. At the back who does he go for. Harry Maguire who has had little first team football since last December. He did play in England’s 2-1 win over Italy but the England manager said the situation could not continue forever.
Manchester City defender turned midfielder may get a run-out in the middle against Malta. He has proved a pivotal part of City’s treble winning side. Can he do likewise for England.
Up front, Harry Kane is a no-brainer. If you want goals, you need Kane. But who to partner him up front. Rashford, Calum Wilson?.
Southgate’s squad arrive in Malta later today. It will be interesting to see who starts.
One thing England will not do is underestimate Malta. A small island maybe but Malta has improved in recent years and are by no means a push-over for anyone.
Ta’Qali is a sell-out for tomorrow night’s game. It will be a cauldron of noise and emotion and maybe, just maybe, Michele Marcoloni’s team can stun England.