Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Nations League clash between Malta and San Marino, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.
Malta They are expected to bounce back from their disappointing mid-week defeat when they are welcomed San Marino on Sunday to the Ta’ Qali National Stadium.
The hosts missed a possible promotion decision with Estonia in Group D2 UEFA Nations League on Thursday, while the visitors narrowly lost in the international match against Iceland the same evening.
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After both Malta and Estonia defeated San Marino in their opening Group D2 games, the two equally strong sides met in Ta’ Qali on Thursday.
Although Malta were able to keep up with their opponents as expected, they suffered a late defeat afterwards Henri Anier provided the Estonians with all three points with a winner four minutes after second-half injury time.
As a result, Malta are now chasing in this treble of the 2022 Nations League season and capping this quartet of June internationals with an easy task on paper in the form of San Marino.
Although their opponents came close to shocking them with a narrow 3-2 win in 2012, there was no doubt when Devis MangiaOn June 5, the San Marino side strolled to a comfortable 2-0 win in San Marino.
A similarly comfortable result is expected from Sunday’s home side, who would give Malta another advantage over Estonia ahead of September’s internationals, although divisional rivals have a game to play against San Marino themselves.
Meanwhile, San Marino put on an admirable performance to propel Iceland to the top on Thursday night.
Fabrizio CostantiniThe side held their own on home soil for long stretches of the duel and certainly had a few chances to find the net themselves.
While Iceland rested a few players for the international game, they remained the big favorites and San Marino ended up suffering a respectable 1-0 defeat.
However, it is now four games without a goal for the visitors on Sunday and 18 straight defeats since the goalless draw with Gibraltar in 2020.
Costantini’s men certainly won’t be deterred from their efforts to deliver a shock result, however, and they will unite to compete again on Sunday as they look to end the summer with a memorable performance.
Form of the Malta Nations League:
Malta form (all competitions):
Form of the San Marino Nations League:
San Marino Form (all competitions):
Malta coach Mangia needs to assess the defender’s fitness Jean Borg ahead of Sunday’s clash after the 24-year-old was substituted in one fell swoop in the closing stages of Thursday’s defeat by Estonia.
Zach Muscat is his turn to fill in should he miss it after coming off the bench to replace him mid-week and would likely miss Steve Borg and Enrico Pepe in Mangia’s back three.
They like Dunstan Vella, Luke Gambin and Luke Montebello will look to push for starts should the boss decide to rotate his 11 for the last game of four Summer Games.
As for the visitors, Costantini could choose to stick with his 4-5-1 formation that worked so well for long periods during the week against Iceland Andrea Grandoni and captain Mirko Palazzi should keep their places as full-backs in a flat back four rather than full-backs in a 3-5-1-1 setup that is so commonly used.
Matteo Vitaloli will make his 77th appearance for his country on Sunday, with the 32-year-old expected to take the lead Nikola Nanni and Adolf Hirsch Once again.
To Aldo Simoncini earned a place between the posts on Thursday, Elijah Benedettini should return in destination for trip to Malta.
Malta possible starting line-up:
bonello; S Borg, Pepe, Muscat; J. Mbong, Guillaumier, Vella, Camenzuli; Teuma; Montebello, Degabriele
San Marino possible starting line-up:
Benedetti; Grandoni, Cevoli, Rossi, Palazzi; Zafferani, Censoni, A. Golinucci, Mularoni, Rinaldi; vitaioli
We say: Malta 2-0 San Marino
Although Malta aren’t the best side against San Marino Minnows, they remain big favorites for a comfortable win on Sunday.
There are no signs that the hosts will struggle in their task and we are aiming for a repeat of the 2-0 result achieved away to the opposition on June 5.
For a data analysis of the most likely outcomes, goal scores and more for this game, please click here.
Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com predict under 3.5 goals in this game. Click here to find out what else they predict for this game and for more of their football best tips.Under 3.5:Data