Malta are set to play Slovakia in the first international window of 2017.
The Maltese team would need to show endurance, and execute a strict game if they are to get anything from the Slovaks. The Slovakian side reached the Round of 16 at the Euro 2016 but crashed to Germany 3-0.
That team has developed since then. There is the talented skipper Marek Hamsik, former Reds defender Martin Skrtel, and Juraj Kucka. The Slovaks are hoping to navigate through Group F for a spot in Russia 2018.
Slovakia did not start the World Cup campaign very well as they lost back to back to Slovenia and England. They turned around to defeat Scotland 3-0 before whopping Lithuania 4-0. They are four points behind leaders England and Slovenia have two more points. This makes the Maltese team a prey.
Malta are not winning matches or forcing draws. The Maltese team have lost their last four games with the last being the narrow loss to Slovenia last November. The team would play Slovakia without top defender Andrei Agius as he is on suspension. Rowen Muscat and Jurgen Pisani are sidelined for the game.
Slovakia are clear favourites to win the game. History points to their five wins and one draw in six games against the Maltese team. The friendly match between both sides in September 2014 ended 1-0 in favour of the Slovaks. It was the last time both sides met.
The match is slated for the national stadium with Pietro Ghedin leading the Maltese team against Jan Kozak’s men.