Malta will be playing in Group 3 of League D along with in the inaugural UEFA Nations League. The 2018/19 League Phase draw was held on Wednesday at the SwissTech Convention Center in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Matches will be played over six weekends between September and November 2018. Malta travels to the Faroe Islands for the first game on September 7 before hosting Azerbaijan three days later. Malta then plays two games away from home in October – against Kosovo on Thursday 11 and Azerbaijan on Sunday 14. The final two matches in November are at home – against Kosovo on Saturday 17 and Faroe Islands on Tuesday 20.
Matchday 1: 7 September 2018
18.00 Azerbaijan vs Kosovo
20.45 Faroe Islands vs Malta
Matchday 2: 10 September 2018
20.45 Malta vs Azerbaijan
20.45 Kosovo vs Faroe Islands
Matchday 3: 11 October 2018
20.45 Kosovo vs Malta
20.45 Faroe Islands vs Azerbaijan
Matchday 4: 14 October 2018
18.00 Azerbaijan vs Malta
18.00 Faroe Islands vs Kosovo
Matchday 5: 17 November 2018
18.00 Malta vs Kosovo
18.00 Azerbaijan vs Faroe Islands
Matchday 6: 20 November 2018
20.45 Malta vs Faroe Islands
20.45 Kosovo vs Azerbaijan
The group winners are promoted to League C for the 2020 edition while the top ranked team in each group will enter a play-off in March 2020 with one place in the EURO 2020 on offer.
Group 1: Germany, France, Netherlands
Group 2: Belgium, Switzerland, Iceland
Group 3: Portugal, Italy, Poland
Group 4: Spain, England, Croatia
Group 1: Slovakia, Ukraine, Czech Republic
Group 2: Russia, Sweden, Turkey
Group 3: Austria, Bosnia Herzegovina, Northern Ireland
Group 4: Wales, Republic Ireland, Denmark
Group 1: Scotland, Albania, Israel
Group 2: Hungary, Greece, Finland, Estonia
Group 3: Slovenia, Norway, Bulgaria, Cyprus
Group 4: Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, Lithuania
Group 1: Georgia, Latvia, Kazakhstan, Andorra
Group 2: Belarus, Luxembourg, Moldova, San Marino
Group 3: Azerbaijan, Faroe Islands, Malta, Kosovo
Group 4: FYR Macedonia, Armenia, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar
The UEFA Nations League is a new competition that aims to ensure the continued success of national team football by replacing most friendlies with competitive matches and by allowing all nations to play against equally ranked teams.
The four group winners of League A will qualify for the UEFA Nations League Finals, to be held in June 2019, with two semi-finals, a third-place match and the final. The group winners in Leagues B, C and D will gain promotion and those who finish bottom of the groups in Leagues A, B and C will be relegated.
National teams will thus either be competing to become UEFA Nations League winners, or be fighting for promotion and to avoid relegation.
Qualifying for UEFA EURO 2020 remains largely the same (with 24 finalists in all), although the European Qualifiers will now begin in the March after a major tournament instead of immediately in September (i.e. March 2019 in this case).
The teams will be split into ten groups of five or six, and the top two from each group will qualify for the final tournament, determining the first 20 places. The last four EURO places will be won through the European Qualifiers play-offs, which will be contested by the 16 UEFA Nations League group winners (i.e. the four group winners in each of the four divisions). Each league will have a path of its own and each path will feature two single-leg semi-finals and one single-leg final. The winner of each path will win a ticket to UEFA EURO 2020.