National coach John Buttigieg and his assistant Carmel Busuttil named the provisional squad ahead of next Wednesday’s international friendly match against Finland. The squad will be trimmed eventually to eighteen players early next week.
The squad includes foreign-based Justin Haber of Ferencvaros, Andrei Agius of Melfi and Daniel Bogdanovic of Barnsley together with Valletta players Andrew Hogg, Steve Bezzina, Gilbert Agius, Jamie Pace, Kevin Sammut and Terence Scerri who are not part of the national team professional training scheme.
The only uncapped player in the squad is Floriana’s Christian Caruana. Steve Bezzina, Edward Herrera and Paul Fenech made their national team debut in the last friendly game against Bulgaria in November.
The players selected by Buttigieg and Busuttil are:
goalkeepers Justin Haber (Ferencvaros – HUN), Andrew Hogg (Valletta), Mario Muscat (Hibs);
defenders Andrei Agius (Melfi – ITA), Steve Bezzina (Valletta), Jonathan Caruana (Hibs), Edward Herrera (Hibs), Alex Muscat (Sliema), Brian Said (Floriana), Kenneth Scicluna (Valletta);
midfielders Gilbert Agius (Valletta), Shaun Bajada (Birkirkara), Roderick Briffa (Valletta), Christian Caruana (Floriana), Trevor Cilia (Birkirkara), Clayton Failla (Sliema), Paul Fenech (Birkirkara), Ryan Fenech (Sliema), Massimo Grima (Qormi), Jamie Pace (Valletta), Kevin Sammut (Valletta);
forwards Daniel Bogdanovic (Barnsley – ENG), Andrew Cohen (Hibs), Michael Mifsud (unattached), Terence Scerri (Valletta), Ivan Woods (Sliema).
Meanwhile Finland coach Stuart Baxter named a 20-man squad ahead of the trip to Malta. The players selected by Baxter are:
goalkeepers Otto Fredrikson (Spartak Nalchik), Peter Enckelman (Cardiff City), Niki Mäenpää (Willem II);
defenders Veli Lampi (FC Aarau), Markus Heikkinen (Rapid Wien), Toni Kallio (Sheffield United), Niklas Moisander (AZ Alkmaar), Jukka Raitala (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim);
midfielders/forwards Tim Sparv (FC Groningen), Teemu Tainio (Birmingham City), Roman Eremenko (FC Dynamo Kyiv), Mika Väyrynen (SC Heerenveen), Roni Porokara (Örebro SK), Joonas Kolkka (NAC Breda),
Kasper Hämäläinen (Djurgårdens IF), Daniel Sjölund (Djurgårdens IF), Juska Savolainen (Haugesund FK), Jari Litmanen (FC Lahti), Jonatan Johansson (TPS), Teemu Pukki (Sevilla FC).
The game, which will be held on Wednesday at the National Stadium, kick-off at 19:00, will be controlled by Italian referee Mauro Bergonzi who will be assisted by Mariano Debono and Ingmar Spiteri as Assistant Referees and Marco Borg as fourth official.
West Stand tickets prices for this match are €8 for males, and a reduced price of €4 for women, children and senior citizens.
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