Our football match prediction:
Slovakia will be looking to bounce back from a 1-0 loss to Scotland when they host Malta at Stadion Antona Malatinskeho in their last group game in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. The Slovaks face a must-win situation against the Maltese as they are two points behind second-placed Scotland in the standings. Marek Hamsik and Co. are likely to go all guns blazing at the rock-bottom teams and we predict that they will pick up all three points from Sunday’s football match. A win over Malta should see Slovakia book their place in the play-offs as Scotland take on Slovenia away from home in their last qualifying match. Pietro Ghedin’s men did well to share the spoils with Lithuania on Thursday evening, but they will have a much bigger fish to fry against Slovakia. It has to be noted that the hosts will be without Robert Mak, who was sent off in the 1-0 loss to Scotland.
Highligted Player (Patrik Hrosovsky):
Born in Prievidza, Czechoslovakia, Patrik Hrosovsky is a midfielder who plays for Viktoria Plzen. Patrik Hrosovsky started his youth career at his hometown club Prievidza and he played for the youth team of Trencin as well before joining Viktoria Plzen. The Slovakian footballer has been playing for the Viktorka ever since, but it has to be noted that he played for the likes of Sokolov, Usti nad Labem and Znojmo on loan as well. Patrik Hrosovsky made his Slovakia debut on November 19, 2014 in a friendly game against Finland. His main position is central midfield, but he is capable of playing as both defensive midfielder and attacking midfielder as well. Hrosovsky has yet to find the net with the Slovakia national football team, but he found the net for the U21 team in a 7-1 win over Luxembourg at the 2015 European Championship. He has a contract with Viktoria Plzen which expires on June 30, 2019.
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.