WC 2018 Qualifier preview: Malta v England – September 1 – Ta’Qali Satium
Post Rooney’s retirement, England manager Barry Southgate has tried to infuse fresh blood into his team as is evident from the 28-man squad he has chosen for England’s forthcoming clashes with Malta and Slovakia. Nathaniel Chalobah and Harry Maguire are two of the young mid-fielders and defenders from Watford and Leicester City who are among the new faces he may most likely to try against Malta when the Three Lions play their 7th WC 2018 qualifying match at Ta’Qali Stadium on September 1. Southgate has especially singled out the 24-year old Maguire for praise who he thinks fits “the profile of an international defender.” Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford of Everton is another fresh face in Southgate’s squad and could very well feature in the Malta clash.
In fact, the England manager could be tempted to experiment with all the three new-comers – Macquire, the 22-year old Chalobah and Pickford at Ta’Quali on Friday given that England are in a very comfortable position in their cluster – Group F. The other probable folks in the defense could be John Stones, Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier. The mid-filed could comprise of Chalobah, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jesse Lingard and Del Alli. Southgate may even choose to rest his leading strikers Harry Kane,Jamie Vardy and Marcus Rashford for Friday’s game and try out the likes of Jermain Defoe and Daniel Sturridge.
The Three Lions head the group of six teams with 14 points that includes 4 wins and 2 draws.They are ahead of Slovakia by just 2 points but would feel confident of adding 3 more points from the Malta encounter and maintaining the gap.
Malta have lost all their 6 games so far in the Group F cluster and the only 2 goals they have scored in the Round are at home against Slovakia and Scotland which they lost 1-3 and 1-5 respectively. Malta’s last outing with England was at Wembley, London which they lost 0-2. The Maltese could take heart that they lost by a small margin and hope against hope they could turn the tables in the return match at Ta’Quali in September 1.
Odds for an England win are overwhelming at 1/20 and for Malta at 40/1. It really should be matter of how many goals England win by.
Recommended Tip: Asian Handicap, Malta + 3, Best Odds 4/6 @ Paddypower