Following a 1-3 defeat to Russia at Ta’ Qali, a 2-2 draw with Slovakia in Trnava and a 3-0 defeat to Croatia in Rijeka, Malta climbed one place in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking as published on Wednesday. Malta is now ranked 175th.
Malta remains fifth from bottom in Europe, lying ahead of Moldova (177), Liechtenstein (186, down 5), Gibraltar (195) and San Marino (210). Just ahead of Malta is Andorra (158th).
The other teams in Group H of the European Qualifiers are ranked as follows: Croatia (14, down 3), Slovakia (36, down 2), Russia (38, up 1), Slovenia (63, down 1) and Cyprus (97, up 3).
Before the three European Qualifiers in September: against Cyprus at Ta’ Qali on September 1 and the two clashes away from home against Slovenia on the 4th and Russia on the 7th, Malta could play one or two friendly matches in June.
Meanwhile April’s FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking rings the changes for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, the points total for each team is now calculated to two decimal places to enhance precision.
Secondly, with no fewer than 185 games – predominantly qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ and the CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2021 – played since the last edition in February, there has naturally been quite a lot of movement in April’s global standings.
While the order of the top six has not changed, with Belgium still dominating ahead of France and Brazil, seventh place is now filled by Italy (7, +3). Like Gli Azzurri, Denmark (10, +2) won their opening three qualifying games for Qatar 2022 and make a return to the top 10.
A little further down, Serbia (25, +5), Nigeria (32, +4), Scotland (44, +4) and Ghana (49, +3) all gained ground in the top 50, which Iceland slipped out of (52, -6). Finally, this edition’s most improved side in terms of points, Armenia (90, +9), gained valuable ground thanks to a gain of 40.28 points.