After the humiliating 7-0 defeat to Spain in Cadiz on Friday, the Malta national team hopes to bounce back with a good performance in the final match from Group F of the European Qualifiers leading to EURO 2020 at the National Stadium on Monday, kick-off at 20:45.
The team’s morale is rock bottom as although one would have expected a defeat, few were those who were expecting such a humiliating defeat.
Addressing a press conference on Sunday, Malta coach Ray Farrugia said “The result against Spain was very disappointing. The good thing is that we have a game after only three days. We will play Norway, another strong team. We have been working to lift the team’s morale after the Spain match and it’s important for us to look ahead and focus fully on the Norway game.”
Farrugia is banking on the collective spirit to help the players overcome the Spain setback.
“The most important thing for us is the collective spirit. The togetherness of the squad is crucial in these circumstances. The players were very disappointed after the Spain game and I hope that they translate this inner anger into positive energy for the Norway match.”
Farrugia confirmed that there will be changes in the Maltese team from the clash with Spain.
“It’s important to bring in fresh legs for the second match, especially after a game like that against Spain where our players had to run a lot.”
Steve Borg is, in fact, set to make his return in the starting line-up after missing the last game due to a one-match ban. Juan Corbalan, who had to be substituted after sustaining an injury in Cadiz, on the other hand, is ruled out. He was replaced by Ferdinando Apap in the squad.
In three qualifiers against Norway played on home sole, Malta lost 0-1 in 1994, 1-4 in 2007 and 0-3 in 2014 but Malta had managed to hold Sweden in two draws in February 1990 and February 1992. In September, Malta performed well in Oslo despite a 2-0 defeat.
Norway, however, will take part in the play-offs after winning the UEFA Nations League Group C3.