Kosovo vs Malta : Kosovo look to continue their fine start to their Nations League campaign with a home clash with Malta on Thursday. Bernard Challandes’ men have picked up four points from their opening two games. Malta have only managed a point, leaving them with an uphill challenge, starting with a trip to Kosovo this week.
Kosovo lead Group D3, which unlike most Nations League groups, features four teams. They began their campaign with an away draw with Azerbaijan, but they moved into poll position with a comfortable 2-0 home win over the Faroe Islands. Zeneli and Nuhiu scored the goals in that one, and Kosovo now have a great chance of topping the group, albeit with plenty of football still to play. The new competition offers Kosovo their best opportunity yet of reaching the Euro 2020 play-offs, and they intend to make the most of it. They currently hold a one-point lead over Faroe Islands in the group, but they could extend that with a win over Malta on Thursday.Kosovo vs Malta
Kosovo also face Faroe Islands during this international break, meaning two wins from their next two could put them in a fantastic position at the top of the group. Swansea City creative midfielder Bersant Celina is one of Kosovo’s stand-out players, he will be looking to make an impact this week. Striker Atdhe Nuhiu is another player of note. He is a big threat up top for Kosovo, as he is for Sheffield Wednesday, though he hasn’t quite continued last season’s form as of yet in this campaign, scoring just one goal in the Championship to date.
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Like Kosovo, Malta will see this competition as their best opportunity to qualify for a major tournament, but they haven’t got off to the best of starts. Malta lost their opening game, a 3-1 defeat on the road against Faroe Islands. And it didn’t get too much better later that week, though they did manage a home draw with Azerbaijan. Those results haven left Malta at the bottom of a tight group. Ray Farrugia’s men have one point to their name, currently sitting four points behind Kosovo, offering them a chance to close the gap on the leaders with a win this week. Malta will know that a defeat to Kosovo will leave them with a lot to do with second placed Faroe Islands also likely to win when they face Azerbaijan.
Malta travel to Azerbaijan themselves for the second fixture of this international break on Sunday. For non-Malta fans, there aren’t too many recognisable players in the squad, but many may recall Michael Mifsud. He still leads the front-line for Malta, captaining the side with 133 appearances, that makes him the most capped player. Mifsud made more than 80 appearances for Coventry City between 2007 and 2009. He’s now 37 years of age. 21-year-old Joseph Mbong is seen as one of the brightest up and coming talents, he’s a versatile player who usually plays at right-back or right midfield.