Malta was drawn in Group F along with Spain, Sweden, Norway, Romania and Faroe Islands in the European Qualifiers draw for UEFA EURO 2020 which was held at the Convention Centre Dublin on Sunday.
This was definitely a most difficult draw for Malta, who was in Pot 6 together with the other four worst performers in the UEFA Nations League, as Malta has a most negative record with Spain, Sweden and Norway and a fair record with the Faroe Islands. On the other hand, this will be the first time, Malta and Romania are facing each other.
Malta was drawn with Spain on three occasions – in the EURO 84 qualifiers and the World Cup 1990 and 1998 qualifiers. Malta lost the six games with the best result being the 2-3 defeat in May 1983.
Malta and Sweden met eleven times with the Swedes winning all matches. At home, Malta had suffered narrow 1-2 defeats in November 1973 and November 1985 and 0-1 in September 2009.
Malta and Norway met eleven times – five friendly matches and the other six matches in the European Championship qualifiers. Norway won the six qualifiers in the EURO 96, 2008 and 2016 but in the friendly matches, Malta managed to hold them in three draws.
Malta and the Faroe Islands met six times with Malta winning one game – a friendly match at Ta’ Qali in 2013 and a 1-1 draw in the UEFA Nations League last month.
A England, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Kosovo.
B Portugal, Ukraine, Serbia, Lithuania, Luxembourg.
C Netherlands, Germany, Northern Ireland, Estonia, Belarus.
D Switzerland, Denmark, Ireland, Georgia, Gibraltar.
E Croatia, Wales, Slovakia, Hungary, Azerbaijan.
F Spain, Sweden, Norway, Romania, Faroe Islands, Malta
G Poland, Austria Israel, Slovenia, FYR Macedonia, Latvia
H France, Iceland, Turkey, Albania, Moldova, Andorra.
I Belgium, Russia, Scotland, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, San Marino.
J Italy, Bosnia Herzegovina Finland, Greece, Armenia, Liechtenstein.
All 55 entrants were involved in the qualifying group stage, with no exemptions for any of the 12 EURO host nations. The teams were drawn into ten groups: five of five (Groups A–E) and five of six (Groups F–J), played between March and November 2019.
The top two teams in each of the ten groups will qualify for the finals in June and July 2020. The remaining four finals slots will be decided by play-offs in March 2020 with entry determined by the UEFA Nations League.
The four teams in the UEFA Nations League pot were drawn into the first position in Groups A–D to ensure they each have two dates free to play the UEFA Nations League Finals in June.
Matchday 1: 21–23 March 2019
Matchday 2: 24–26 March 2019
(UEFA Nations League semi-finals: 5 & 6 June 2019)
Matchday 3: 7–8 June 2019
(UEFA Nations League final/third-place match: 9 June 2019)
Matchday 4: 10–11 June 2019
Matchday 5: 5–7 September 2019
Matchday 6: 8–10 September 2019
Matchday 7: 10–12 October 2019
Matchday 8: 13–15 October 2019
Matchday 9: 14–16 November 2019
Matchday 10: 17–19 November 2019
Play-off draw: 22 November 2019
Final tournament draw: 1 December 2019
Play-off semi-finals: 26–28 March 2020
Play-off finals: 29–31 March 2020
Final tournament: 12 June–12 July 2020