Our prediction for this Euro 2024 match:
Group C leaders England will look to retain top position in the standings when they take on Malta at Wembley Stadium on Friday evening. The Three Lions proved their worth in a 3-1 win over Italy and they are likely to stick to their attacking style of play. John Stones misses out with injury, while fellow defender Reece James has been omitted. Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah did not make the cut this time out, with Newcastle United man Callum Wilson stepping up.
Harry Kane, who has been scoring goals for fun with Bayern Munich of late, is widely expected to lead the line for the hosts. Malta, on the other hand, have not collected any points in the Euro 2024 qualifiers and seeing that England are a real force to be reckoned with at home, we do not believe that the underdogs are capable of claiming a major scalp in London. There are no fresh injury worries in the visiting team ahead of the trip to England.
Highlighted Player (Harry Kane):
Widely regarded as one of England’s best strikers at the moment, Harry Kane enjoyed a meteoric rise at Tottenham Hotspur, scoring 21 Premier League goals during the 2014/2015 campaign to be voted PFA Young Player of the Year.
The highly rated striker went on to surpass that achievement the following season as he helped Tottenham Hotspur mount a serious title challenge for the first time in club’s recent history and he made seamless transition to international football. Kane scored four goals in his first ten appearances for England to prove he was here to stay and at the same time established himself as a first choice striker in Roy Hodgson’s squad ahead of the Euro 2016 finals.
Kane is a modern striker, who is extremely dangerous in the opposition box, but it was some outstanding goals from distance as well as link-up play with teammates that earned him an excellent reputation in world football. Kane is expected to lead both Tottenham and England in years to come, that is if he can resist the lure of top European clubs that continue to cast admiring glances his way.
Highlighted Team (Malta):
Back in 1957 Malta played their first international match. The Falcons faced Austria in their debut on the international stage and they suffered a 3-2 loss to Das Team in front of home fans in Gzira. The Malta Football Association joined FIFA in 1959, while joining UEFA the following year and they have been competing in the qualifiers for the major tournaments since 1962.
The Knights of Malta have yet to participate at the finals of the showpiece tournaments, but they often claim major scalps in the qualifying matches. Malta recorded their biggest win (7-1) against Liechtenstein on March 26, 2008, but a win over Hungary in the Euro 2008 qualifiers is considered their biggest achievement.
Speaking of friendly games, it has to be noted that Malta did remarkably well to beat star-studded Ukraine in Graz on June 6, 2017, with Zach Muscat scoring the winner for the minnows. In December 1983 the Maltese suffered their heaviest loss as they were crushed by Spain 12-1 in Seville.