The Malta national team will be in action on Wednesday in a friendly match against Liechtenstein at the Rheinpark Stadion in Vaduz, kick-off at 19:00.
Following a 3-2 win over San Marino in a friendly match away from home, Malta lost the first three 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers losing 0-1 to Armenia at Ta’ Qali, 2-0 to Italy in Modena and 3-1 to the Czech Republic in Plzen. The game against Liechtenstein will therefore be a good test ahead of the next two World Cup qualifiers against Bulgaria and Italy next March.
Photo: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar / MFA
For this game, Malta will be without the all-time top scorer Michael Mifsud who is ruled out injured and therefore, national coach Pietro Ghedin will have the opportunity to try new options in attack.
Hibernians striker Andrew Cohen is back after missing the last game against the Czech Republic and apart from Omonia Nicosia’s Andre Schembri, the other forward in the squad which travelled to Vaduz is Hamrun Spartans striker Terence Vella.
Vella is one of two uncapped players in the squad – the other being Birkirkara midfielder Rowen Muscat. Both are expected to be handed their debut.
Also making their return to the squad is Clayton Failla of Hibernians and Ryan Fenech of Valletta. Daniel Bogdanovic, who had missed the trip to the Czech Republic due to an injury, was this time left out of the eighteen-man squad.
Also missing from the squad is Valletta defender Steve Borg who is ruled out injured.
Photos: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar / MFA
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The players selected by Ghedin are:
goalkeepers Justin Haber (Mosta), Andrew Hogg (Enosis Neon Paralimni);
defenders Andrei Agius (Latina), Ryan Camilleri (Hibs), Jonathan Caruana (Valletta), Luke Dimech (Mosta), Clayton Failla (Hibs), Edward Herrera (Birkirkara), Alex Muscat (Sliema);
midfielders Shaun Bajada (Valletta), Roderick Briffa (Valletta), Paul Fenech (Birkirkara), Ryan Fenech (Valletta), Rowen Muscat (Birkirkara), Gareth Sciberras (Birkirkara);
forwards Andrew Cohen (Hibs), Andre Schembri (Omonia Nicosia), Terence Vella (Hamrun).
This will be the fourth match between the two countries. Following a 1-1 draw in the President’s Cup in Korea, Malta registered a 7-1 win in a friendly match in March 2008 before winning 2-1 last February in another friendly match at Ta’ Qali.
Liechtenstein are currently playing in Group G of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers and after suffering a 1-8 defeat to Bosnia Herzegovina in the first match, they suffered three 2-0 defeats to Slovakia, Lithuania and Latvia.
The Liechtenstein squad is made up of:
goalkeepers Peter Jehle (Vaduz), Cengiz Bicher (Mersin Idman Yurdu), Benjamin Buchel (Bournemouth);
defenders Lucas Eberle (Balzers), Olcay Gur (Chur 97), Daniel Kaufmann, Yves Oheri (Vaduz), Ivan Quintans (Balzers), Martin Stocklasa (St. Gallen);
midfielders Franz Burgmeier (Vaduz), Andreas Christen (Balzers), Philippe Erne (Balzers), Nicolas Hasler (Vaduz), Michele Polverino (Wolfsberger), Sandro Wieser (Hoffenheim);
forwards Thomas Beck (Balzers), Mathias Christen (Eschen/Mauren), David Hasler (Vaduz), Niklas Kieber (St. Gallen).