The Maltese Campaign in The Nations League Could Be a Surprise

With the latest edition of the Nations League set to begin later this year, Spain will be looking to defend its title. Needless to say, there will be enough excitement at the top. Meanwhile, in League D, the Maltese team will try to prove its prowess after being placed in a challenging group. Malta team manager Michele Marcolini is hopeful of the team’s prospects and cites their growth. Could the Maltese team be this season’s Cinderella story? Let’s review the facts.

The Draw

In February, the Maltese team was drawn into Group D2 alongside Andorra and Moldova. Moldova’s performance in the qualifiers has been impressive, and its ten points are well-earned. Having beaten Poland and the Faroe Islands, they present a real challenge to Malta.

Meanwhile, Andorra has not performed so well against Malta in previous matches. In the 2020 qualifiers, Malta beat Andorra to secure four points.

Yet Malta’s performance against Andorra and Moldova is not as big a concern as the draw itself.   Malta Football Association president Bjorn Vassallo agrees that it was a tough draw. He said, “From all the possible scenarios, we were handed the toughest one.”

Now with thousands of people clearing their schedules and signing up to sports betting sites like the betway app in preparation for Euro 2024, Malta faces the challenge of rising from the ashes.

A Series of Close Calls

Vassallo is confident that his team can prove everyone wrong. He maintains that the Maltese campaign’s goal is to climb to League C one way or another, through the playoffs or promotions. History, however, isn’t on his side.

The last two editions saw the Maltese teams come so close to entering the third tier only to fail in the last stages. In last year’s campaign, the team lost its shot to Estonia in a heated match in Tallinn. The year before that, Malta drew and lost its promotion to the Faroe Islands. Their first edition (2018-19) was not that fruitful either, with Malta only picking up three points in their group.

Small, Consistent Wins

If, then, as Vassallo maintains, the goal is to get promoted to League C, the Malta team must aim for small, consistent wins in the Nations League.

The idea is to use the group stages as a springboard. Since success in Group D2 will see the team move up in the League, rather than big wins, the team should aim to win or draw every match by any margin. The goal is to beat similar-caliber teams for a chance at the big leagues.

Potential for Promotion

If Malta can progress to League C, they might just have a chance of going further this season than ever before. Coach Michele Marcolini says he “… remains (s) confident about the chance to be promoted.” The team has made significant improvements in recent months, and this could be the year they break out.

If they do, there is no telling how far the team will go. Getting promoted to League C will expose the team to a higher caliber of teams and force them to improve their game. A successful season could generate interest for the team, boost national morale, and breathe life into Maltese football.

Stay Tuned to Malta’s Campaign

This edition of the Nations League will see each team play four matches, home and away, against the other two teams in its group. While Malta’s chances against Andorra, Moldova could be tougher to crack. The team’s chances will come down to maintaining momentum and taking small, consistent wins. You can follow along the Maltese Campaign officially and through popular betting platforms like Betway come September.

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