Malta drawn with San Marino, Cyprus/Estonia in UEFA Nations League

Malta was drawn in League D2 with San Marino and the loser of the League C play-out between Cyprus and Estonia as the draw of the league phase of the 2022/23 UEFA Nations League was held in Nyon on Thursday.

While Malta is ranked 175th. San Marino is ranked 210th, Cyprus 105th and Estonia 107th.

Malta and San Marino had never met in a competitive match, meeting only in a friendly match in August 2012, winning 3-2 away from home.

With regards to Cyprus and Estonia, they first need to take part in the relegation play-outs, scheduled for March 24 and March 29 – first leg to be played in Estonia.. Cyprus finished at the bottom of Group C1 with four points in a group which included Montenegro, Luxembourg and Azerbaijan while Estonia finished last in Group C2 with three points in a group which included Armenia, North Macedonia and Georgia.

The loser of the play-out will be facing Malta.

Malta and Cyprus met eight times – four friendly matches, two EURO qualifiers and two World Cup qualifiers. Malta won two, Cyprus three with the other three matches ending in draws. In the European qualifiers, earlier this year, Malta beat Cyprus 3-0 at Ta’ Qali, holding them in a 2-2 draw in Larnaca.

On the other hand, Malta and Estonia met six times with Malta winning two matches, Estonia winning two and the other two matches ending in draws.The only competitive matches between the two countries were the World Cup qualifiers played in 1992 and 1993 when Malta and Estonia drew 0-0 at Ta’ Qali, winning 1-0 away from home in Tallinn.

Photo: Copyright domenic aquilina

A1: France, Denmark, Croatia, Austria
A2: Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Czech Republic
A3: Italy, Germany, England, Hungary
A4: Belgium, Netherlands, Poland, Wales

B1: Ukraine, Scotland, Republic of Ireland, Armenia
B2: Iceland, Russia, Israel, Albania
B3: Bosnia Herzegovina, Finland, Romania, Montenegro
B4: Sweden, Norway, Serbia, Slovenia

C1: Turkey, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Faroe Islands
C2: Northern Ireland, Greece, Kosovo, Cyprus/Estonia
C3: Slovakia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan/Moldova
C4: Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Georgia, Gibraltar

D1: Liechtenstein, Kazakhstan/Moldova, Latvia, Andorra
D2: Malta, Cyprus/Estonia, San Marino

The 55 UEFA member associations are participating in the 2022/23 UEFA Nations League and were divided into the four leagues based on the 2022/23 UEFA Nations League Access List. The Access List has been compiled based on the teams’ results in the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League, including promotion and relegation between the leagues and pending the results of the UNL 2020/21 finals and the relegation play-outs.

Due to the 2022 FIFA World Cup which will be played between November 21 and December 18, the first four match days will be played in June. Matchdays 1 and 2 are scheduled for 2–8 June and Matchdays 3 and 4 for 8–14 June. Matchdays 5 and 6 are scheduled for 22–27 September. 

The format for UEFA EURO 2024 qualifying is not yet confirmed, including any details of how teams might earn play-off spots via the 2022/23 UEFA Nations League. The UEFA EURO 2024 competition regulations are expected to be approved and published by June 2022.

In the first edition of the UEFA Nations League, in 2018, Malta placed at the bottom of League D3, collecting three points in three draws in a group which included Kosovo, Azerbaijan and the Faroe Islands.

On the other hand, in the second edition, which was held in 2020, Malta finished second in League D1 on 9 points, three behind group winners Faroe Islands and two ahead of Latvia with Andorra finishing at the bottom of the group with two points.