Watch Malta vs Northern Ireland, live on You In Sports, Date: Wednesday, 6 February, 2013, Kick-off: 18:30 (GMT+0), Stadium: Ta’Qali National Stadium, Competition: International – Friendly Match.
Malta vs Northern Ireland
Malta are without midfielder Roderick Briffa and defender Jonathan Caruana, who are both carrying knocks. They are set to make two changes from the side that completed a 1-0 win over Lichtenstein in November. Birkirkara’s Paul Fenech set to replace Briffa.
Northern Ireland are missing six players. Trevor Carson is absent with a finger injury and is out. Ryan McLaughlin is also out with a calf complaint. Ryan McGivern and Jamie Ward both have hamstring problems with Oliver Norwood is out with a foot injury. Goalkeeper Roy Carroll is resting up because of a back complaint, but Ger Doherty of Derry, Aberdeen’s Josh Magennis and Josh Carson of Ipswich could all feature after being added to the squad.
Pietro Chedin (Malta): “I watched their (Northern Ireland) games against Portugal and Azerbaijan, which ended 1-1. They were great encounters and I am sure that Northern Ireland will produce a stern challenge. We have to be very careful. Most of their players play in England’s Premier League and the Championship and that shows they are a very valid team.”
Michael O’Neill (Northern Ireland): “I am obviously very disappointed at losing the guys but very happy with the new call ups into the squad. This gives me an opportunity to see them over the coming days in training. We have a very young squad but it is nice to have the experienced players with us for the game in Malta.”
Northern Ireland have won five and lost none of their previous six meetings with Malta.
The Maltese have scored just one goal against Northern Ireland in the 1-1 draw in their last meeting.
Northern Ireland have drawn their last three games 1-1.
Northern Ireland have lost seven of their last eight away games, with their last away win coming in September 2010.
Malta have won four of their last seven games, their best run since 2001-02.
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