Malta prepare to take on the Greeks
GREECE vs MALTA Athens, 17/11/07
Saturday sees Malta attempt to take the UFWC title in this Euro Qualifier. Current UFWC and Euro Champions Greece have already qualified for Euro 2008, but Malta are seeking to avoid Qualifying Group C’s wooden spoon. Malta are currently rock-bottom of their group with just five points from ten games – 20 points less than Greece.
Malta coach Dušan Fitzel said, “Greece have already qualified and I expect a full house in Athens as Greek supporters will want to watch their heroes.”
Malta face a tough task – Euro champs Greece are FIFA-ranked 14th in the world, while the Maltese are ranked a lowly 137th, inbetween Yemen and Lenbanon.
Malta – with a population of just 400,000 against Greece’s 11 million – have never held the UFWC title. They have lost all six of their previous title matches, failing to score a single goal and conceding eighteen.
The Maltese squad includes three UK-based players – Michael Mifsud (Coventry City), and Andrew Cohen and Terence Scerri (both Hibernian). Macclesfield Town’s Luke Dimech is suspended.
The Greece squad includes Stelios Giannakopoulos (Bolton Wanderers) and Georgios Samaras (Manchester City). Greece will be without star striker Angelos Charisteas and Olympiakos defender Paraskevas Antzas due to injuries.
Should Malta manage to defeat Greece, they will take the UFWC title into a Euro with Norway four days later on Wednesday 21 November. If Greece hold onto the title, they will next defend it against Hungary on the same day.