The Malta Independent 16 December 2018, Sunday

UEFA Nations League, Kosovo-Malta: Our aim is always to win – Ray Farrugia

Chris Cassar Wednesday, 10 October 2018, 19:40 Last update: about 3 months ago
Photos: Domenic Aquilina
Photos: Domenic Aquilina
  • Changes expected especially in defence
  • Ryan Camilleri doubtful for tonight's clash
  • Gozitan Ferdinando Apap expected to be included in first eleven

National coach Ray Farrugia said in yesterday's pre-match press conference, that the aim of his side is always to go for victory. Malta faces Kosovo this evening at the Fadil Vokrri Stadium in Prishtina in the third match of the UEFA Nations League D Group 3 match.

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Kosovo are currently leading group 3 after beating Faroe Islands and drawing against Azerbaijan and are considered clear favourites to win the group and gain promotion to League C. Tonight's match is arguably considered as Malta's most difficult test in this competition.

However national coach Ray Farrugia was still optimistic ahead of this match and said that he is confident his side will do well, and that his aim is always to win matches. He said that in football everything can happen and is confident that we can do well if we give our best.  

Ray Farrugia insisted that his aim is to see the national team making progress and said that he will be satisfied if we avoid the last place in the group, which will be the first time that Malta did not finish last in a competitive group.

However he said that this does not mean that we will not be aiming to win the group. He said that so far we played two good games and obtained only one point, but there is still hope as Malta is only three points behind leaders Kosovo.

Ray Farrugia stressed that although Kosovo is a strong side, and arguably are the favourites to win the group, Malta faced stiffer opposition in the past, and obtained prestigious results too, so he cannot see why we cannot achieve a positive result even tonight if all players give their best.

Ray Farrugia said that he is going to adopt a 5-4-1 formation. There will be some changes from Malta's last match against Azerbaijan at Ta' Qali. Joe Zerafa is suspended, for tonight's match, Zach Muscat is missing through injury and Ryan Camilleri is a doubtful starter as he is nursing an ankle injury suffered in training with the national team.

Farrugia said that he intends to start with Gozitan defender Ferdinando Apap, whilst Gzira midfielder Juan Corbolan might be making his debut with the Malta team this evening. Farrugia wants to introduce new blood in the team, as these youngsters are the future of the national team.

Farrugia said that he always sees the positive aspect of things, and he sees this challenge as an opportunity for the newcomers who will be playing tomorrow, to show their worth and confirm that they deserve to do part of the national team today and in the future.

Malta midfielder Paul Fenech said that the side is well prepared for this encounter. He said that they are aware of the strength of the opponents but the side is well prepared to face Kosovo and is confident of doing well tonight.

The match will be controlled by Hungarian referee Tamas Bognar.

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