Under-21 side hosts Northern Ireland on Friday

A long ten-month period without international football due to the Covid-19 pandemic is finally coming to an end for the Malta Under 21 national team as on Friday, they face Northern Ireland at the Centenary Stadium, kick-off at 18:00.

This will be the first home match for the boys in this UEFA European U21 Championship Qualifying Group 8 following four away matches last year wiith the Maltese team, led by coach Silvio Vella, collecting a prestigious point in a goalless draw against the same Northern Ireland team in Antrim.

Photos: Copyright © Joe Borg

Goalkeeper Andreas Vella, Jean Borg, Matthew Guillaumier, Shaun Dimech and Paul Mbong, who are all eligible to play for the Under-21s, have been promoted to the senior squad for the upcoming UEFA Nations League matches this week. Vella is also without experienced Sliema Wanderers defender Michele Sansone who has just underwent surgery in Germany.

All this meant the Malta Under-21 coach had to call up new players to his squad, rewarding the likes of San Ġwann keeper Cain Formosa, defender Carlo Zammit Lonardelli, who recently joined Fidelis Andria in Italy, Adam Magri Overend of Santa Lucia, and 18-year old Alex Satariano – their first official call-up at Under-21 level for these two home matches.

Malta face Northern Ireland on Friday before hosting Romania the following Tuesday next week, both matches at the Centenary Stadium and kicking off at 18:00.

Malta vs Northern Ireland will be broadcast on https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7vxopl