Marcolini “We are expecting a strong reaction from Italy”
TA’ QALI (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Malta is set to play Italy at the National Stadium Tà Qali on Sunday in the UEFA Euro Qualifiers. The 16,000 seats at Tà Qali National Stadium have all been sold. Michele Marcolini, Maltàs national team coach, confirmed that of the 24 players selected for these first two games, everyone is available except maybe some players are still a little tired from the match against North Macedonia. He said that the risk of the Italian team in such matches is that they sometimes take it slowly but after suffering a defeat against England in the first game, “we are expecting a reaction against Malta”. Marcolini also said that although the opponent is a strong one, the Maltese team will not be completely defending. “However, when you play with a team of this caliber you automatically find yourself closing the spaces”. Asked about Retegui, Marcolini said that if he continues at this rate he should give a helping hand to the Italian team, but he hopes that he won’t do that tomorrow. Regarding Maltàs previous matches against Italy, Marcolini said that he hopes that the Maltese team will be tough for the Azzurri.
Marcolini concluded that he thinks that the Italian team will be creating chances and therefore the defense should be careful and close all the spaces.
Maltese midfielder Matthew Guillaumier said that the the national team is expecting a very difficult game and therefore it is important that the players play with the same attitude with which they came out against North Macedonia
After the press conference the Maltese team had a training session at the National Stadium with the local and international media being able to follow 15 minutes of this session.
In 17 head-to-head encounters between the two sides, Italy have won 14 games and drawn three.
Malta come into this game on the back of a 2-1 loss to North Macedonia. Italy, on the other hand, lost 2-1 to 10-man England in their most recent game. Before losing to England on Thursday, Italy had won each of their previous 14 qualification games and were unbeaten in 40. Having also beaten Malta in all four past meetings without conceding a goal, Italy will expect to get off the mark with a first win of the campaign.
– photo: LivePhotoSport –