The women’s national team is in for a most difficult task on Thursday as Malta hosts England in another match from Group 5 of the qualifying round of the FIFA Women’s World Cup at the Centenary Stadium, kick-off at 15:00.
England were the losing finalists in the Women’s EURO which was held last year. They are currently ranked joint-eighth in the world and joint-fourth in Europe.
This will be the sixth game for Pierre Brincat’s side in the group. After a heavy 0-13 defeat to Spain at Ta’ Qali in the first game, Malta lost 8-0 to England in Blackpool. Malta then suffered two 0-2 defeats to Austria and Turkey at home before suffering a 5-1 defeat to Turkey in Trabzon last month.
England are currently second in the group but hold maximum points from the four matches they played. After the game against Malta, England beat Turkey 3-0 in Izmir, Austria 3-0 and Spain 1-0, both games in London.
The players selected by Malta coach Pierre Brincat and his assistant Mark Gatt are:
goalkeepers Sharon Costantino (Gozo FC), Michelle Zahra (Mgarr);
defenders Maria Azzopardi (Hibernians), Rebecca Chircop (Mosta), Rebecca D’Agostino (Mosta), Chantal Fenech (Birkirkara),
Natasha Pace (Mosta), Kimberly Parnis (Birkirkara), Dorianne Theuma (Mosta),
Sherianne Zammit (Hibernians);
midfielders Ylenia Carabott (Hibernians), Rachael Cuschieri (Birkirkara), Mandy Debono (Hibernians), Antoinette Sammut (Mgarr), Corissa Vella White (Hibernians);
forwards Kathleen Saliba (Hibernians), Emma Xuereb (Gozo FC), Gabriella Zahra (Melita).
The players at the disposal of England coach Hope Powell are:
Rachel Brown (Everton), Siobhan Chamberlain (Chelsea), Karen Bardsley (Sky Blue), Alex Scott (Boston Breakers), Casey Stoney (Chelsea), Faye White (Arsenal), Rachel Unitt (Everton), Lindsay Johnson (Everton), Dunia Susi (Chelsea), Claire Rafferty (Chelsea), Sophie Bradley (Leeds Carnegie), Laura Bassett (Leeds Carnegie), Jill Scott (Everton), Fara Williams (Everton), Katie Chapman (Chicago Red Stars), Kelly Smith (Boston Breakers), Karen Carney (Chicago Red Stars), Ellen White (Leeds Carnegie), Lianne Sanderson (Philadelphia Independence), Eniola Aluko (Saint Louis Athletica), Rachel Yankey (Arsenal), Jess Clarke (Leeds Carnegie).
Entrance for the game is free.
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