Euro 2016 Qualifying (Group stage) Match Preview: Malta vs. Italy

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Updated: October 13, 2014
Italy Oct 2014

Match Date: 13 October 2014 (local)

Match Venue: Ta’ Qali National Stadium

(Featured image: Italy | Source: timesunion.com)

 

This meeting is looking to be very predictable. Former World Cup champions Italy could easily trounce minnows Malta. However, can the latter pull off some surprises and produce the unexpected?

 

Malta

Still goalless and point-less as per the second set of Euro qualifying matches, Malta will need more than 100 percent of their faculties to make odds go in their favor and thump down their powerhouse nemeses. Their past matches in numerous tournaments have recorded a generally unpleasant form. While they displayed remarkable maneuvers against Faroe Islands, Armenia, and Liechtenstein, they appeared dull and uninteresting when they were pitted against the likes of Albania, Croatia, and their most recent opponents, Norway. From the latter, they earned zero goals and conceded three.

 

“We lost 3-0—what can I say? It was difficult to recover from silly mistakes once again,” said team manager Pietro Ghedin. “The team tried their best but it was not our day. Norway were quicker than us and scored at the right moments. Credit to Norway but when you gift goals it is not easy to recover.”

 

Italy

Italy only needed one player to beat their most recent rivals for the Euro qualifying. Giorgio Chiellini scored three times, twice at the right end and once on the wrong net. Azerbaijan, their opponents, were obvious underdogs even from the start of the tourney. Their defense was very weak and the team seemed to be not having a tactical plan that will give them at least small chance to covert chances against Italy. Gli Azzurri were superb throughout the match and although Chiellini made an error, he made sure he will rectify it in the most dramatic way possible—and yes, he did.

 

“We should have killed off the game early; we had the chance to do so,” commented Chiellini. “This match should serve as motivation for the challenges ahead. The team showed great character, enthusiasm and a desire to do well, and that is what we have to show in the future as well.”

 

Football betting tip: Italy will easily steal all the spoils from Malta.