Malta was drawn in Group B of the 2014 FIFA World Cup with Italy, Denmark, Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Armenia. The draw was held in Rio di Janeiro on Saturday.
Definitely an attractive but a most difficult draw for Malta.
In the European qualifying competition, to be played between 7 September 2012 and 15 October 2013, the teams were divided into eight groups of six teams and one of five.
ITALY Malta and Italy met four times – two European Championship qualifiers and two World Cup qualifiers – with the Italians winning the four matches. The last clashes go back almost two decades when Italy won 2-1 at Ta’ Qali, before winning 6-1 in Palermo.
DENMARK Malta and Denmark met eight times including friendly matches, Rothmans Tournament, European Championship and World Cup qualifiers. Malta won one and Denmark seven. The last two clashes go back to 2008/2009. In two World Cup qualifiers, Denmark registered two 3-0 win both at home and at Ta’ Qali.
CZECH REPUBLIC Malta and the Czech Republic met seven times with the Czech side winning five matches and two ending in draws. The last clash between the two sides was a friendly match which the Czech Republic won 1-0 in 2009.
BULGARIA The two countries met nine times with Bulgaria winning seven of the nine matches. Two games ended in draws. The last clash between the two countries was a friendly match at the Hibernians Stadium in 2009 which Bulgaria won 4-1
ARMENIA Malta and Armenia met three times in three friendly matches. Armenia won the three games 1-0, the last being in 2008.
Group A: Croatia, Serbia, Belgium, Scotland, FYR Macedonia, Wales.
Group B: Italy, Denmark, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Armenia, Malta.
Group C: Germany, Sweden, Republic of Ireland, Austria, Faroe Islands, Kazakhstan.
Group D: Netherlands, Turkey, Hungary, Romania, Estonia, Andorra.
Group E: Norway, Slovenia, Switzerland, Albania, Cyprus, Iceland.
Group F: Portugal, Russia, Israel, Northern Ireland, Azerbaijan, Luxembourg.
Group G: Greece, Slovakia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Lithuania, Latvia, Liechtenstein.
Group H: England, Montenegro, Ukraine, Poland, Moldova, San Marino.
Group I: Spain, France, Belarus, Georgia, Finland.