The Malta Independent 19 November 2018, Monday

24-man squad announced by Malta coach Ray Farrugia for forthcoming UEFA Nations League matches

Domenic Aquilina Thursday, 4 October 2018, 18:28 Last update: about 3 months ago

Malta national team head coach Ray 'Zazu' Farrugia has announced a 24-man squad in relation to the forthcoming UEFA Nations League matches MD3 & 4 away fixtures against Kosovo and Azerbaijan, respectively on 11th and the 14th October forthcoming.

"I consider Kosovo as the strongest team in this group and playing them away is going to be a massive test for us. Azerbaijan also showed that they are a very competitive team when we played them at home last month but we can also take a lot of positives from our resilient performance in that game.

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"If we approach the next games with the same motivation and determination, I'm confident that we can do well," stated Malta head coach Ray Farrugia soon after the announcement of his squad.

"We have retained the majority of the players who were with us for our first two UNL matches," continued Farrugia. "We have been closely monitoring the form of the Maltese players in the domestic competitions and our squad selection is based on those assessments as well as the performance analysis statistics."

Recall for Hibernians midfielder Bjorn Kristensen, Birkirkara duo defender Cain Attard and Jake Grech, while Floriana's Clayton Failla is also making a return after missing out on the last squad selection for family reasons.

Farrugia has opted to take 24 players as Valletta defender Joseph Zerafa is out for the Kosov match due to suspension and will be available for the second commitment against Azerbaijan in Baku.  There are also players with a yellow card so Farrugia has taken all into account for all possible scenarios for the Azerbaijan match.

Former Luton Town midfielder Luke Gambin now with League Division Two outfit Crawley Town has asked not to be considered for Malta duties to concentrate on his club commitments.

Apollon Limassol's Andre' Schembri, is the only foreign-based player in the squad, as Zach Muscat, now with Pistoiese, who also missed out on Malta's most-recent 1-1 draw at home to Azerbaijan due to injury is not 100 per cent fit.

Kosovo lead Group D3 on four points, with an away goalless draw to Azerbaijan and a 2-0 convincing home win over the Faroe Islands to their credit.

 

MALTA SQUAD


GOALKEEPERS

Henry Bonello (Valletta); Andrew Hogg (Hibernians); Steve Sultana (Balzan).

 

DEFENDERS
 Andrei Agius (Hibernians; Ferdinando Apap (Victoria Hotspurs); Cain Attard (Birkirkara); Steve Borg (Valletta); Ryan Camilleri (Valletta); Clayton Failla (Floriana); Michael Johnson (Balzan); Joseph Mbong (Hibernians); Joseph Zerafa (Valletta)*.

 

MIDFIELDERS
Roderick Briffa (Gżira United); Juan Corbalan (Gżira United); Paul Fenech (Birkirkara); Jake Grech (Birkirkara); Bjorn Kristensen (Hibernians); Rowen Muscat (Valletta); Stephen Pisani (Floriana).

 

FORWARDS
Andrew Cohen (Gżira United); Alfred Effiong (Balzan); Jean Paul Farrugia (Sliema Wanderers); Michael Mifsud (Birkirkara); Andrè Schembri (Apollon Limassol, Cyprus).

 

*Joseph Zerafa is available only for second match

 

Copyright © Domenic Aquilina/The Malta Independent

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