Despite having a heavily depleted side, the Malta Under-21 national team will be hoping for a good performance at the Stadionul Marin Anastasovici in Giurgiu on Tuesday as Silvio Vella’s side takes on Romania in another match from Group 8 of the UEFA Under-21 Championship qualifying round .
Preparations for the game in Giurgiu, a town on the border with Bulgaria, have been hampered by the COVID-19 situation with coach Silvio Vella having to make several changes from the squad for the home game with Denmark (1-3) on Friday.
Apart from Kurt Shaw, Matthew Guillaumier, Myles Beerman, Shaun Dimech and Paul Mbong who are with the senior squad and Jean Borg, Michele Sansone and Zachary Brincat who are ruled out injured. Dejan Debono, Carlo Zammit Lonardelli and Nicholas Pulis were forced to withdraw from the squad prior to the Denmark game. Goalkeepers Rashed Al-Tumi, Timmy Aquilina and Andreas Vella; Jean Paul Attard, Matthew Ellul, Sebastian Grech, Zachary Grech, Marcus Grima, Alex Satariano, Ayrton Attard, Bradley Sciberras, David Xuereb, Jamie Zerafa, Jan Busuttil, Calvin Camilleri and Nevin Portelli could not make the trip to Romania.
The 22-man squad that has made the two-hour trip to Romania early on Monday morning is largely made up of new players with only Aidan Friggieri together with defenders Gary Camilleri and debutant Darren Borg having been in the starting XI for the Denmark match (1-3). Jan Tanti and Omar Elouni have earned a recall to the U-21 squad.
Therefore for most of the players in the squad, this will be their first experience at this level.
Romania will be going all out to get back to winning ways and bounce back from their their defeat to Ukraine which left them six points behind leaders Denmark.
Cain Formosa (San Ġwann); Duncan Formosa (St Andrews).
Darren Borg (Ħamrun Spartans); Gary Camilleri (Balzan); Mark Fenech (Naxxar Lions); Christian Gauci (San Ġwann); Owen Spiteri (San Ġwann); Matthew Spiteri (Tarxien Rainbows).
Keith Attard (Tarxien Rainbows); Matthew Farrugia (Hibernians); Mchael Gatt (Qrendi); Jake Ghio (Pietà Hotspurs); Rudy Jeffries (Hibernians); Luca Mallia (San Ġwann); Liam McKay (Santa Lucia); Jan Tanti (Senglea Athletic); Andreas Vella (Santa Lucia).
Omar Elouni (Gżira United); Aidan Friggieri (Gudja United); James Scicluna (Pietà Hotspurs); Andrei Spiteri (Mosta); Andrea Zammit (San Ġwann).