Our prediction for this World Cup 2022 match:
Following a 1-1 draw with Slovakia, Slovenia will look to keep their World Cup qualification hopes alive when they host Malta at their Stadion Stozice. Atalanta ace Josip Ilicic should keep his place in the starting XI, while new Middlesbrough attacker Andraz Sporar should be recalled to the starting XI. You should bear in mind that the “Zmajceki” are eyeing their second win of the process. Malta, on the other hand, have been performing above expectations in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
Devis Mangia’s troops did well to hold Slovakia to a draw in March, and, to make things even better for the fans, they rolled over Cyprus 3-0 on Wednesday evening. Considering that the visitors are high on confidence ahead of the trip to Ljubljana, we predict that they will grab something from Saturday’s clash. Slovenia defender should have Cain Attard at bay as the 26-year-old midfielder scored a brace in the midweek triumph.
Highlighted Player (Andraz Sporar):
Born in Ljubljana, Slovenia on February 27, 1994, Andraz Sporar is a striker who plays for Slovakian side Slovan Bratislava. Sporar spent his youth career at the likes of Olimpija, MNK Ljubljana and Interblock and he continued playing for the last mentioned club at senior level.
After scoring 10 goals in 21 appearances for the club, the Slovenian attacker moved to his hometown club Olimpija Ljubljana where he earned the captaincy. Andraz Sporar was scoring goals for fun in the Slovenian top flight, netting 46 goals in 95 appearances in the league, but he then decided to take a step forward in his career.
In the 2015/2016 season he moved to Swiss outfit Basel, but he made no more than 19 appearances in the league for the RotBlau. During his spell with Basel Sporar played for Arminia Bielefeld on loan as well and in the winter of 2018 he joined Slovan Bratislava. Speaking of his international career, he made his debut with Slovenia in November 2016 against Malta.
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.