Devis Mangia, the Head Coach of the National Teams, has named an extended squad for the upcoming friendly match against Liechtenstein on November 11 and the final two UEFA Nations League Group D1 home games against Andorra (14 November) and the Faroe Islands (17 November).
All three matches during November will be played at home with Malta aiming to extend their positive run after going four matches unbeaten. In the UEFA Nations League, Malta are second in Group D1 on five points after beating Latvia 1-0 away after drawing 1-1 against them at home in September, and a 0-0 stalemate away to Andorra last month.
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Mangia’s options for this month’s commitments at the National Stadium have been undermined by COVID-19 issues as a number of players are unavailable while the head coach is himself in self-isolation as he recovers from the virus. Despite these challenges and difficult circumstances, Mangia and his coaching staff have been preparing in the best possible manner for the upcoming internationals, starting with the Liechtenstein match on November 11 (kick-off 18.00).
The friendly will also be an occasion to celebrate the career of one of the greatest ambassadors of Maltese football as Michael Mifsud will be making his final appearance in a Malta shirt. Mifsud, 39, is the country’s most-capped player with 142 appearances and all-time leading scorer for the national team with 41 goals. The Sirens FC forward will be joining the Malta squad ahead of the Liechtenstein game.
While Mifsud will be donning the Malta shirt for one last time on November 11, Floriana’s Jan Busuttil, 21, has earned his first senior call-up, joining other young players like Valletta forward Shaun Dimech and Sliema Wanderers defender Kurt Shaw who have retained their place in the senior squad while Valletta defender Jean Borg is back after recovering from injury.
Apart from the absent players, Mangia has kept faith with most of the players who were part of the squad for last month’s international matches. Valletta forward Kyrian Nwoko is back in the frame after recovering from the injury that kept him out of the Andorra draw and the Latvia win. Mangia has also recalled Sliema Wanderers striker Jean Paul Farrugia, Ħamrun Spartans winger Juan Corbalan, and Żejtun Corinthians’ flank player Neil Tabone.
Gżira United defender Steve Borg is suspended for the UEFA Nations League match against Andorra on November 14 (kick-off at 15.00) but will be available for the final game against Faroe Islands three days later (20.45). The squad will be reduced to 24 players after the Liechtenstein friendly.
Henry Bonello (Valletta); Matthew Calleja Cremona (Hibernians); Jake Galea (Sliema Wanderers).
Andrei Agius (Hibernians); Jean Borg (Valletta); Steve Borg (Gżira United)*; Triston Caruana (Valletta); Karl Micallef (Ħamrun Spartans); Zach Muscat (Casa Pia AC – Portugal); Kurt Shaw (Sliema Wanderers).
Samir Arab (Balzan); Myles Beerman (Sliema Wanderers); Ryan Camenzuli (Floriana); Juan Corbalan (Ħamrun Spartans); Matthew Guillaumier (Ħamrun Spartans); Bjorn Kristensen (Hibernians); Joseph Mbong (Ħamrun Spartans); Rowen Muscat (Valletta); Steven Pisani (Balzan); Neil Tabone (Żejtun Corinthians); Teddy Teuma (Royale Union Saint-Gilloise – Belgium).
Jan Busuttil (Floriana); Jurgen Degabriele (Hibernians); Shaun Dimech (Valletta); Jean Paul Farrugia (Sliema Wanderers); Luke Gambin (Colchester United – England); Jake Grech (Hibernians); Michael Mifsud (Sirens FC)*; Kyrian Nwoko (Valletta).
* Michael Mifsud will be part of the squad for the Liechtenstein friendly while Steve Borg is suspended for the UEFA Nations League match against Andorra but returns for the match against Faroe Islands