MX23RW : Monday, December 11 18:18:39| >> :600:690990:690990:
[monks data]
Luxembourg national football team
Friendlies 2
Jun 9, 2023 at 7.15pm UK
Stade de Luxembourg
Malta national football team
Luxembourg
0 - 1
Malta

Rupil (43'), Barreiro (57'), Curci (78')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Nwoko (64')
Grech (19'), Borg (60'), Muscat (72')

Preview: Luxembourg vs. Malta - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's friendly clash between Luxembourg and Malta, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Luxembourg and Malta meet at the Stade de Luxembourg this Friday for an international friendly.

The game will serve as a predecessor to next week's set of Euro 2024 qualifiers, in which both nations will play a further two matches.


Match preview

Luxembourg coach Luc Holtz on March 23, 2023© Reuters

Luxembourg have been steadily rising in the international scene over the last few years, slowly but surely moving away from perennial whipping boys to a genuinely competitive mid-ranking outfit.

With games against Liechtenstein at home and away in Bosnia-Herzegovina next week, Luc Holtz's side will believe they could easily take four points from them, with a win in the opening fixture being a necessity.

Their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign got off to a fantastic start by claiming a surprise draw away to a Slovakian side that has been in disarray ever since their exit from Euro 2020.

However, a first-half capitulation against World Cup quarter-finalists Portugal saw the Red Lions thrashed 6-0 on home soil just a few days later.

It means they are still yet to score in the section, but the next two matches do provide opportunities for them to break that duck.

The defeat to the Portuguese was just a second in 10 internationals though, as they have become a very difficult side to break down with a few exciting players on the counter.

Luxembourg were very unfortunate in their previous Nations League campaign last year, taking 11 points from 18 but still finishing behind a Turkey side playing well below their level in League C.

They managed to pick up a draw away to the Crescent Stars, before then holding both Bulgaria and Hungary to draws as well shortly before the World Cup.

With the tiny nation still chasing the dream of a first ever major tournament, the Euros offers a much better opportunity with 23 spots available alongside hosts Germany.

A playoff spot in 2022 World Cup qualifying looked likely after they won two of their first three outings, but they quickly faltered and would take just three points from their remaining five matches to miss out.

Malta are another nation who have unquestionably improved having been one of the sides who would regularly be on the receiving end of some bruising defeats.

Malta coach Michele Marcolini on March 23, 2023© Reuters

They just do not have the sort of high-level talent some other of their minnow nations have, so manager Michele Marcolini must ensure his side is tough to break down.

Marcolini's players proved that in March's internationals though, despite falling to defeat against both North Macedonia and Italy.

Two games in which they applied themselves very well ultimately both ended in defeat, but keeping the score down so low will be a big positive.

The Macedonians did not make the breakthrough until the 66th minute, and Malta gave them a scare by grabbing a late goal to keep it interesting, while they also had a great chance early on at home to the Azzurri, before eventually losing 2-0.

It extends their struggles in competitive action though, after taking just five points from their 10 World Cup qualifiers in 2021, as the side have lost 14 of their last 23 fixtures.

The Nations League is the reason they have not been beaten on more occasions, as they still find themselves down in Group D, but home and away defeats to Estonia mean another campaign of bottom-tier action next time around.

Malta's two upcoming qualifiers are rather daunting too, as they welcome England to Ta' Qali before travelling to face Ukraine later on in the week.

Some confidence must be taken from the last two qualifiers though - and their surprise friendly win over Israel shortly before the World Cup - if they are to be competitive during this international window.

Luxembourg form (all competitions):


Malta form (all competitions):



Team News

Luxembourg's Gerson Rodrigues celebrates scoring their first goal on March 27, 2021© Reuters

Sebastien Thill is not in the Luxembourg squad for this international break, as the man who scored Sheriff Tiraspol's winner at the Bernabeu last season has not featured for Hansa Rostock since the last set of qualifiers.

Key man Gerson Rodrigues has also not played any football since the defeat to Portugal, having not been chosen for selection by his loan club Al Wehda in over two months.

Danel Sinani is another of the main players not getting regular game time having only made two sub appearances at Wigan Athletic since March, so this friendly will be crucial in getting him and Rodrigues back up to speed.

Malta have named a near-identical squad to that selected for March's international break, so there may not be many changes to the starting XI.

Jodi Jones will come into the setup high on confidence after helping Notts County reach the EFL in the last month, while St. Johnstone full-back James Brown will hope for a first start either here or next week after making his competitive debut against Italy.

Teddy Teuma is the most high-profile player in the squad, and he has enjoyed another fantastic season with Union Saint-Gilloise in Belgium, with another season of European football on the way.

Teuma recently returned from injury to feature in the final game of the season, as the club fell agonisingly short of the league title.

Luxembourg possible starting lineup:
Moris; Jans, M Martins, Chanot, Pinto; Martins Pereira, L Gerson, Barreiro Martins; Sinani, V Thill, Gerson Rodrigues

Malta possible starting lineup:
Bonello; Apap, Borg, Attard; Brown, Yannick, Guillaumier, Camenzuli; Mbong, Satarino, Jones


SM words green background

We say: Luxembourg 2-1 Malta

Luxembourg will expect to win as well as bringing some of their key players back up to full sharpness ahead of a very important week, which could make or break their qualifying campaign.

Malta will hope to put up another respectable showing after two narrow defeats to sides who reached the last Euro finals, and they could prove frustrating opponents for much of the evening.


For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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Game History

How you voted: Luxembourg vs Malta

Luxembourg
69.6%
Draw
4.3%
Malta
26.1%
23
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