Malta vs Estonia Live, Tv, prediction, team news

Malta vs Estonia Live, Tv, prediction, team news

Malta vs Estonia

Having both made winning starts to the UEFA Nations League campaign, Malta and Estonia will do battle in each of their second games on Thursday.

 

The two sides began with victories over San Marino and will fight to take control of top spot in League D2.

Malta just failed to win promotion to League C in the 2020 UEFA Nations League campaign, largely down to their slow start as they picked up just two points from the opening three games.

Back-to-back wins were not enough to earn them top spot, as Devis Mangia’s side eventually finished second with nine points, before the Knights of Malta managed just one win in 10 attempts in World Cup Qualifying.

They then played their first games of 2022 in March, beating Azerbaijan and Kuwait 1-0 and 2-0 respectively before returning to action at the beginning of June with a contest against Venezuela, which they eventually fell short in as Salomon Rondon hit the only goal of the game in the second half.

On the back of that defeat, Mangia’s side kicked off their new Nations League campaign with a trip to San Marino and came away with all three points as Jan Busuttil and Matthew Guillaumier hit second-half goals in a 2-0 victory.

With only the top nation in the three-team group earning promotion after the four games, Malta will hope to gain a lead over Estonia with what would be a vital second win on Thursday.

The visitors also kicked off their campaign with a win over San Marino after a five-game winless run, culminating in a Nations League relegation playoff against Cyprus in March.

After finishing bottom of their group in League C, the Sinisargid went into a two-legged affair and suffered a 2-0 away defeat following a stalemate on home soil, confirming their drop to the bottom tier.

They were, at least, able to return to winning ways at the start of the new term though, beating San Marino 2-0 in Tallinn as Robert Kirss and Joonas Tamm hit goals in the first half.

Thomas Haberli’s men then took on Argentina in an International Friendly on Sunday, and they were the victims of a Lionel Messi masterclass as the Albiceleste captain hit all five goals in a thrashing in Spain.

Now looking to bounce back from that heavy defeat, the Sinisargid will go in search of a second straight continental victory to move clear at the top of the group.

Attacking midfielder Jan Busuttil will hope to break into the Malta starting XI on Thursday, having come off the bench to score in their win against San Marino last time out.

Centre-back Steve Borg should again captain the side and play in the back three alongside Jean Borg and Enrico Pepe.

Estonia’s front line should again be led by Robert Kirss, who netted his first international goal in the win over San Marino.

They should also line up with a back three, with Joonas Tamm, Marten Kuusk and FC Zurich defender Karol Mets set to shield Arsenal prospect Karl Hein between the sticks.

Experienced midfielder Konstantin Vassiljev will continue to lead his nation, having scored 25 times in 141 caps.

Malta possible starting lineup:
Bonello; Pepe, S Borg, J Borg; Mbong, Guillaumier, Paiber, Overend; Busuttil; Degabriele, Satariano

Estonia possible starting lineup:
Hein; Kuusk, Mets, Tamm; Zenjov, Kreida, Vassiljev, Kait, Sinyavskiy; Kirss, Sorga

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