Malta coach Ray Farrugia has named a 23-strong squad for the forthcoming European qualifiers against Norway and Romania.
The national team resume their EURO 2020 Group F qualifying campaign with away games against Norway at the Ullevaal Stadium on September 5 (kick-off 20.45) and Romania on September 8 at the Stadionul Ilie Oana in Ploiesti (18.00 – Malta time).
Ħamrun Spartans defender Karl Micallef and Sliema Wanderers forward Jean Paul Farrugia are making a return to the squad after injuries kept them out of the June qualifiers away to Sweden (0-3) and at home to Romania (0-4).
Farrugia has awarded a recall to Floriana’s flank defender Jurgen Pisani and Gżira United midfielder Nikolai Muscat.
Valletta defender Jonathan Caruana is recovering from an operation while Birkirkara midfielder Matthew Guillaumier is also ruled out due to injury.
The players will be reporting for international duty after the midweek BOV Premier League matches with the squad due to fly out to Oslo on September 3, two days before the game against Norway.
The September qualifiers come in the early stages of the season but Farrugia is hopeful that the clubs’ summer commitments, especially those that played in the Champions League and Europa League, will have helped to enhance the match sharpness of the players.
Spain are leading Group F with 12 points, five ahead of Romania and Sweden in second place. Norway have five points, Malta three and Faroe Islands are still without a point after four matches.
Henry Bonello (Valletta); Justin Haber (Gżira United); Andrew Hogg (Birkirkara).
Andrei Agius, Ferdinando Apap, Joseph Mbong (all Hibernians); Steve Borg, Joseph Zerafa (both Valletta); Karl Micallef (Ħamrun Spartans); Zach Muscat (US Pistoiese, Italy); Jurgen Pisani (Floriana); Dexter Xuereb (Mosta).
Triston Caruana (Ħamrun Spartans); Juan Corbalan (Gżira United); Paul Fenech (Balzan); Luke Gambin (Colchester United, England); Jake Grech, Dunstan Vella (both Hibernians); Nikolai Muscat (Gżira United); Rowen Muscat (Valletta).
Alfred Effiong (Balzan); Jean Paul Farrugia (Sliema Wanderers); Kyrian Nwoko (Valletta).