We look ahead to this European Championship qualifier at the Ta’ Qali National Stadium, with our Malta vs England preview and prediction.
Malta vs England Stats: Quick Hits
- England are overwhelming favourites to win this Euro 2024 qualifier with the Opta supercomputer (91.4% chance of a victory).
- Malta have only ever won seven of their 226 competitive matches across World Cup and European Championship qualification.
- Malta have scored just one goal in five previous meetings with England – that was a Richard Wright own goal.
Malta host England on Friday night in Ta’ Qali in this UEFA European Championship Group C qualifier. After the opening two group stage games, they are at opposite ends of the table, with England having beaten both Italy and Ukraine, while Malta suffered a disappointing defeat to North Macedonia before a 2-0 loss at home to Italy.
England have a brilliant recent record in Euro qualifiers, winning 19 of their last 20 – the exception being a 2-1 loss at the Czech Republic in October 2019. Malta will hope to avoid conceding first, which is easier said than done. Gareth Southgate’s side are unbeaten in their last 29 matches when scoring the first goal (W27 D2).
Malta have won just seven of their 226 qualification matches across World Cup and European Championship competition, with that 3.1% success rate a little higher than the Opta supercomputer’s predicted 2.3% chance of victory on Friday. In fact, they’ve won just one of their last 21 qualification matches (D2 L18), that coming in a 3-0 home win over Cyprus in September 2021.
Malta vs England Head-to-Head
This will be the sixth international meeting between England and Malta, and the first time that they’ve met since September 2017. Back then, England defeated the Maltese 4-0 in the Ta’ Qali National Stadium thanks to goals from Harry Kane (two), Ryan Bertrand and Danny Welbeck.
That win was in the qualification campaign for the 2018 World Cup. Across their two meetings in those qualifiers, England averaged 77% possession and attempted 18 shots on target, allowing Malta just one of their own across 180 minutes.
Overall, Malta have lost all five of their matches against England in all competitions by an aggregate score of 14-1. Their only goal against the Three Lions was a Richard Wright own goal in a 2-1 friendly victory in Ta’ Qali in June 2000. Current England manager Gareth Southgate came off the bench in that win.
Malta: Jurgen Degabriele
Friday’s game is going to be a tough task for all of Malta’s players, so picking one to cause England problems feels an impossible ask.
They will be without their most influential – and arguably best quality – player in Teddy Teuma, who assisted the second most goals in the Belgian top flight in 2022-23 (12) and also created the second most chances (87).
Any goal threat may come via 26-year-old Hibernians forward Jurgen Degabriele – no player in the current Malta squad has scored more times for the national team (six).
England: Bukayo Saka
England have played in nine international matches since the 2022-23 domestic season began, with Bukayo Saka arguably being one of the most integral players in the side across that period.
Only Harry Kane (five) has scored more non-penalty goals for the Three Lions in those nine matches than Saka (four), while the Arsenal forward has been England’s leading chance creator, both overall (11) and from open play (10). Only Kane (25) and Jude Bellingham (13) have attempted more shots, while Kane (13) has been the only player to attempt more shots on target than Saka (eight).
Across Arsenal’s great 2022-23 campaign, Saka showed his fantastic ability. He was both their leading scorer (15, alongside Martin Ødegaard and Gabriel Martinelli) and assisted more goals than any other teammate (11), while he also led the club for total chances created (86).
Malta vs England Prediction
The Opta supercomputer doesn’t give Malta much chance of causing a shock on Friday, despite having home advantage. Their chance of victory stands at just 2.3%, while getting even a draw is at 6.4% – an 8.7% chance of stopping England from making it three wins from three in Group C for Euro 2024.
Malta vs England Squads
Malta: Henry Bonello, Matthew Grech, Matthias Debono, Steve Borg (captain), Zach Muscat, Kurt Shaw, Jean Borg, Ferdinando Apap, Karl Micallef, Joseph Mbong, Steve Pisani, Bjorn Kristensen, Ryan Camenzuli, Matthew Guillaumier, Jake Grech, Juan Carlos Corbalan, Cain Attard, Nikolai Muscat, Yannick Yankam, Adam Magri Overend, Luke Montebello, Alexander Satariano, Kyrian Nwoko, Jurgen Degabriele, Shaun Dimech, Jodi Felice Jones.
England: Jordan Pickford, Sam Johnstone, Aaron Ramsdale, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Kieran Trippier, Luke Shaw, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Tyrone Mings, Marc Guéhi, Jordan Henderson, Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips, Conor Gallagher, Eberechi Eze, Harry Kane (captain), Marcus Rashford, Jack Grealish, Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden, Callum Wilson, James Maddison. Jude Bellingham and Lewis Dunk both withdrew through injury.