Malta was drawn in Group C with holders Italy, England, Ukraine and North Macedonia in the UEFA EURO 2024 qualifying draw which was held on Sunday at Festhalle, Frankfurt.
It is therefore another tough draw for the Malta national team which was placed in a group with five teams and therefore no teams from Pot 6. England are one of the finalists in the 2022 FIFA World Cup while Italy, Ukraine and North Macedonia were all eliminated in the play-offs.
In the UEFA Nations League, Italy won League A Group 3 with eleven points ahead of Hungary and Germany with England finishing at the bottom with three points. Ukraine placed second in League B Group 1, two points behind group winners Scotland. North Macedonia, on the other hand, finished third in League C Group 4 behind Georgia and Bulgaria and ahead of Gibraltar.
Malta and Italy played eight times in qualifying matches and although the latter won the eight matches, the last two matches ended in narrow wins.
|06 Dec 1986||Malta v Italy||0-2||UEFA European Championship|
|24 Jan 1987||Italy v Malta||5-0||UEFA European Championship|
|19 Dec 1992||Malta v Italy||1-2||FIFA World Cup|
|24 Mar 1993||Italy v Malta||6-1||FIFA World Cup|
|11 Sep 2012||Italy v Malta||2-0||FIFA World Cup|
|26 Mar 2013||Malta v Italy||0-2||FIFA World Cup|
|13 Oct 2014||Malta v Italy||0-1||UEFA European Championship|
|03 Sep 2015||Italy v Malta||1-0||UEFA European Championship|
Malta and England met five times – four qualifying matches and a friendly match. England won all matches with the ‘best’ result for Malta being a narrow defeat in February 1971.
|03 Feb 1971||Malta v England||0-1||UEFA European Championship|
|12 May 1971||England v Malta||5-0||UEFA European Championship|
|03 Jun 2000||Malta v England||1-2||International Friendly|
|08 Oct 2016||England v Malta||2-0||FIFA World Cup|
|01 Sep 2017||Malta v England||0-4||FIFA World Cup|
Malta and Ukraine met once in a friendly match in 2017 at a neutral venue with Malta winning 1-0.
|06 Jun 2017||Ukraine v Malta||0-1||International Friendly|
On the other hand, Malta and North Macedonia met six times – four friendly matches and two qualifying matches, with the only positive result for Malta being a 1-1 draw in August 2010.
|27 Mar 1996||FYR Macedonia v Malta||1-0||International Friendly|
|27 Nov 1996||Malta v FYR Macedonia||0-2||International Friendly|
|06 Sep 1998||FYR Macedonia v Malta||4-0||UEFA European Championship|
|18 Nov 1998||Malta v FYR Macedonia||1-2||UEFA European Championship|
|21 Aug 2002||FYR Macedonia v Malta||5-0||International Friendly|
|11 Aug 2010||Malta v FYR Macedonia||1-1||International Friendly|
The 53 teams involved in the draw were classified on the basis of the overall 2022/23 UEFA Nations League rankings issued on completion of the Nations League group stage. Based on these rankings, the teams were divided into seven pots: the ‘UNL’ pot, which contained the four Nations League finalists, followed by Pot 1 to Pot 6. Pot 1 contained six teams, Pots 2 to 5 each contained ten teams and Pot 6 contained the three remaining teams. Malta was placed in Pot 5.
Since the four Nations League finalists – Netherlands, Croatia, Spain and Italy – will play the final matches of this competition in June 2023, they had only eight matchdays available for the European Qualifiers group stage and were allocated to groups of five teams.
Germany as the organisers of the UEFA EURO 2024 final tournament are automatically qualified and therefore did not take part in the draw and since all Russian teams are currently suspended, Russia were therefore not included in the qualifying draw.
Group A: Spain, Scotland, Norway, Georgia, Cyprus
Group B: Netherlands, France, Republic of Ireland, Greece, Gibraltar
Group C: Italy, England, Ukraine, North Macedonia, Malta
Group D: Croatia, Wales, Armenia, Turkey, Latvia
Group E: Poland, Czech Republic, Albania, Faroe Islands, Moldova
Group F: Belgium, Austria, Sweden, Azerbaijan, Estonia
Group G: Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Lithuania
Group H: Denmark, Finland, Slovenia, Kazakhstan, Northern Ireland, San Marino
Group I: Switzerland, Israel, Romania, Kosovo, Belarus, Andorra
Group J: Portugal, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Iceland, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Liechtenstein
Qualifying match dates
23–25/03/2023 Matchday 1
26–28/03/2023 Matchday 2
16–17/06/2023 Matchday 3
19–20/06/2023 Matchday 4
07–09/09/2023 Matchday 5
10–12/09/2023 Matchday 6
12–14/10/2023 Matchday 7
15–17/10/2023 Matchday 8
16–18/11/2023 Matchday 9
19–21/11/2023 Matchday 10