Local Football > National Teams > GHEDIN NAMES SQUAD FOR LITHUANIA, SLOVAKIA QUALIFIERS

GHEDIN NAMES SQUAD FOR LITHUANIA, SLOVAKIA QUALIFIERS

Pietro Ghedin has named a provisional 24-strong squad for Malta’s final 2018 FIFA World Cup European qualifiers at home to Lithuania on October 5 and away to Slovakia three days later.

Ghedin, who has announced that he will be calling time on his tenure as Malta coach at the end of the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign, has largely kept faith with the players who have featured regularly for the national team in this competition.

There are four uncapped players in Ghedin’s initial squad, namely Ħamrun Spartans goalkeeper Steve Sultana and club-mates Lydon Micallef, Daniel Zerafa and Siraj Arab.

Ghedin has awarded a recall to Birkirkara wing-back Cain Attard who had made his competitive debut for Malta in the 3-1 defeat to Slovakia last March.

Ryan Fenech has been included in the provisional squad but the Balzan FC midfielder is only available for the final qualifier against Slovakia as he is suspended for the Lithuania match.

There are five foreign-based players in Ghedin’s selection, defenders Zach Muscat and Sam Magri, who play for US Arezzo and Ebbsfleet United respectively, Luton Town winger Luke Gambin, striker Jean Paul Farrugia, of FC Chiasso, and forward Andrè Schembri, who plays for Cypriot club Apollon Limassol.

Malta face Lithuania at the National Stadium on Thursday, October 5, and then travel to Slovakia for their last 2018 World Cup qualifier on October 8.

The Maltese side will be looking to open their account in these two final qualifiers.

In the last two outings, Malta suffered a 4-0 home defeat against England and a 2-0 defeat to Scotland at Hampden Park.

Lithuania, who lost 4-0 away to Slovenia in their last qualifier, have five points while second-placed Slovakia have 15 points.

MALTA’S PROVISIONAL SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Henry Bonello (Valletta); Andrew Hogg (Hibernians); Steve Sultana (Ħamrun Spartans).

Defenders: Andrei Agius (Hibernians); Cain Attard (Birkirkara); Steve Borg (Valletta); Ryan Camilleri (Valletta); Clayton Failla (Hibernians); Sam Magri (Ebbsfleet United, England); Zach Muscat (US Arezzo, Italy); Daniel Zerafa (Ħamrun Spartans); Joseph Zerafa (Valletta FC).

Midfielders: Clyde Borg (Floriana); Ryan Fenech (Balzan – available for Slovakia qualifier); Paul Fenech (Balzan); Bjorn Kristensen (Hibernians); Luke Gambin (Luton Town, England); Steve Pisani (Floriana).

Forwards: Siraj Arab (Ħamrun Spartans); Alfred Effiong (Balzan); Jean Paul Farrugia (FC Chiasso, Switzerland); Lydon Micallef (Ħamrun Spartans); Michael Mifsud (Valletta); Andrè Schembri (Apollon Limassol, Cyprus).
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