The Malta Under-21 side will be hosting Wales in a friendly match at the National Stadium on Tuesday, kick-off at 19:00. For Edwin Camilleri’s side, this game forms part of the team’s preparation ahead of the final game from Group 8 of the UEFA Under-21 Championship against France, in programme on September 7 in Amiens.
Despite some encouraging performances throughout this qualifying campaign, the Under-21 side failed to collect any points, suffering four 1-0 defeats, two 2-0 losses and a 0-3 defeat to Ukraine in the last outing last May. Ironically in the game against Ukraine, Malta was just four minutes away from collecting its first point in the group. However three goals in four minutes sank the Maltese side for a most disappointing finale.
The 18 players selected by Camilleri and his assistant Emmanuel Farrugia are:
goalkeepers Henry Bonello (Vittoriosa), Nicky Vella (Valletta);
defenders Steve Bonnici (Melita), Steve Borg (Valletta), Owen Bugeja (Floriana), Ryan Camilleri (Hibs), Tyrone Farrugia (Floriana), Beppe Muscat (Sliema), Duncan Pisani (Floriana), Clive Spiteri (Pietà), Joseph Zerafa (Birkirkara);
midfielders Richard Chetcuti (Warrington), John Mintoff (Sliema), Nigel Rizzo (Melita), Mark Scerri (Sliema);
forwards Miguel Ciantar (Sliema), Mauro Grioli (Floriana), Terence Vella.
This will be a difficult test for the locals considering that Wales are leading Group 3 which includes Italy with 13 points, three ahead of Italy which they defeated 2-1 in September last year. They are yet to play their last two games against Hungary and Italy away from home next month.
The Welsh squad is made up of:
goalkeepers David Cornell (Swansea), Jonathan Bond (Watford);
defenders Daniel Alfei (Swansea), Adam Matthews (Cardiff), Aaron Morris (unattached), Christian Ribeiro (Bristol City), Ashley Richards (Swansea), Neil Taylor (Swansea);
midfielders Billy Bodin (Swindon), Mark Bradley (Rotherham), Elliot Chamberlain (Leicester), Ryan Doble (Southampton), Shaun Macdonald (Swansea), Joe Partington (Bournemouth), Jonathan Williams (Crystal Palace);
forwards Hal Robson Kanu (Reading), Richard Peniket (Fulham), Jake Taylor (Reading).
Entrance for the game will be free.
The game will be controlled by referee Alan Mario Sant, assisted by assistant referees Alan Camilleri and William Debattista and fourth official Kevin Azzopardi.
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