Local Sport > National Football > MALTA TO FACE GIANTS SPAIN


Malta will face three-time European champions Spain, Sweden, Norway, Romania and the Faroe Islands in Group F of the qualifying campaign for Euro 2020.

The qualifying draw for the next European Championship, to be played across 12 cities in 2020, was made on Sunday at the Convention Centre in Dublin.

UEFA are due to issue the fixture schedules for all 10 groups later on Sunday with the qualifying matches scheduled to take place between March and November 2019.

Malta coach Ray Farrugia, who was present for the draw, said: “It’s a very difficult group, everyone knows that, but this is the outcome of the draw.

“We need to look ahead and prepare as best as we can for these stern challenges.

“It goes without saying that Spain are one of the best teams in the world. We have two strong Scandinavian teams in the group, Sweden and Norway, who have won their UEFA Nations League groups, together with Romania and Faroe Islands who we know very well.”

Farrugia stressed that he and his coaching staff will continue to work to raise the level of our national team while introducing more young players into the senior squad.

“The first words I said on my appointment as national coach were that we wanted to build on what we have and bring in more young players into the squad,” Farrugia said.

“We intend to introduce more youngsters into the squad but to to do this we need to ensure that our preparations are as good as they can be.

“We need more time with the national team players, especially before these tough European qualifiers.”

As one of the five teams in Pot Six, Malta were certain to be drawn in one of the five six-team groups but couldn’t be drawn against any of the four finalists of the UEFA Nations League, Switzerland, Portugal, Netherlands and England.

Malta has played against former world and European champions Spain, Sweden, Norway and Faroe Islands in competitive matches in the past but our national team has never met Romania in a competitive fixture.

The draw also means that Malta will be facing Faroe Islands for the second successive UEFA competition after the two teams were in Group D3 of the recently-concluded UEFA Nations League.

Malta drew 1-1 at home to Faroe Islands, who were in Pot Five, in their final UEFA Nations League match on November 20 but the Faroese had won the home match 3-1 back in September.

In the UEFA Nations League, Spain finished second in Group A4, one point behind winners England, Sweden won Group B2 and have been promoted to League A, Norway topped Group C3 and move up to League B, Romania finished second in Group C4 and Faroe Islands third in Group D3.

Copyright: www.mfa.com.mt
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Monday, December 17, 2018
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