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Preview: England vs Malta – prediction, team news, line-ups

The exciting matches of the Euro 2024 qualifiers continue on Friday with England vs Malta the headline fixture. 

The Three Lions have already secured qualification for the Euro 2024 but they will be looking for success in their final two fixtures to ensure a top seeding. 

They guaranteed their place in the finals of the European competition with a comprehensive victory against Italy last month

Luciano Spalletti’s men were leading the game 1-0 by the half-hour mark, but a huge comeback from the hosts saw Harry Kane scoring twice and Marcus Rashford also earning his name on the scoresheet. 

The 3-1 win moved them six points clear of Italy, who had ended their last European dreams by defeating them on penalties in the final in 2021. 

Gareth Southgate has failed to lead England to success in any major tournaments, despite coming close on several occasions. 

The upcoming European Championship may be his last chance to win something with the Three Lions, who crashed out of the last World Cup at the quarter-finals stage. 

On the other hand, Malta will be out to restore some pride against England on Friday after losing all of their seven matches in Group C. They are currently one of the five teams who have failed to secure a single point. 

The Reds looked to be in the ascendancy in the home fixture against Ukraine in October, when Paul Mbong provided them with an early breakthrough. But an own-goal followed by two strikes from Artem Dovbyk and Mykhaylo Mudryk turned the game on its head as Ukraine ultimately ran out 3-1 winners. 

Team News

Southgate has several top players sidelined with injury issues. Jude Bellingham, Lewis Dunk, James Maddison, Callum Wilson and Levi Colwill will all be missing due to fitness issues. Meanwhile, Marcus Rashford and Kalvin Phillips are yet to link up with the national side for personal reasons. 

As for Malta, Jamaican-born attacker Kemar Reid has been picked in the squad after he gained citizenship towards the end of October. They have also received a boost by the returns of Teddy Teuma and Jodi Jones. 

England vs Malta potential line-ups 

England: Johnstone; Walker, Guehi, Maguire, Trippier; Alexander-Arnold, Henderson, Gallagher; Bowen, Kane, Foden

Malta: Bonello; S. Borg, J. Borg, Pepe; Attard, N. Muscat, Guillaumier, Camenzuli; Teuma; Jones, P. Mbong

England vs Malta prediction 

The miserable form of Malta suggests England should have no problem winning Friday’s encounter at Wembley, whether or not Southgate opts to feature his best XI. 

England 3-0 Malta

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