Our prediction for this Euro 2020 match:
After suffering a 2-1 loss to ten-man Spain at home ground, Romania will be aiming to return to winning ways in the Euro 2020 qualifiers when they host Malta at their Stadionul Ilie Oana on Sunday afternoon. The Romanians aim to stay in the race for the automatic qualification for the next year’s showpiece tournament and we are positive that the hosts will go all guns blazing at Malta.
Galatasaray attacker Florin Andone, who found the net in the 2-1 loss to la Furia Roja, is likely to lead the line for the home side this time out. Raymond Farrugia’s troops, on the other hand, kicked off their qualifying campaign in style, beating Faroe Islands at home, but seeing that they are on a four-game losing run ahead of the trip to Ploiesti, we are positive that the minnows are going to return home empty-handed.
Highlighted Player (Ciprian Tatarusanu):
Anton Ciprian Tatarusanu is one of Romania’s most famous goalkeeper at the moment, and he has surprisingly spent the majority of his career up to date in his native country. The highly rated shot-stopper joined the most famous club on domestic stage Steaua via Juventus Bucuresti and Gloria Bistrita and he would go on to spend next seven years in the capital, making over 130 league appearances and featuring in over 40 matches in European competitions.
The big club move finally materialised in the summer of 2014 as he waited his contract to expire before signing for Fiorentina, and he quickly established himself as the number one goalkeeper at Artemio Franchi.
When it comes to international stage, Tatarusanu has spent much of his career competing with Costel Pantilimon for the starting berth in the national team, and he has emerged a winner, making 30 odd appearances for the Tricolorii since 2010. Bar any surprises, Tatarusanu will make his debut appearance at major tournaments at the Euro 2016 finals.
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.