Malta vs Republic of Ireland Match Analysis & Prediction
20/11/2022 10:00 pm
Malta and the Republic of Ireland conclude their calender years with an international friendly at the Ta’Qali National Stadium on Sunday.
In the past, playing Malta would have been regarded as a relatively routine game, but that is no longer the case, as the Falcons look to make small strides up the international ranking order.
Although they recently finished behind Estonia in their UEFA Nations League group, both of their defeats to the eventual winners were by 2-1 scorelines, and Malta have only continued to improve.
With friendlies against Israel and Greece on their schedule, Malta may have been left pleased with a draw from one of those two games, but theyr 2-1 victory over the former was followed by a 2-2 draw with the latter earlier this week.
However, the second game came with disappointment, Malta leading 2-1 with a man advantage when Greece got back on level terms four minutes from time.
Having recored successive wins on one just occasion during his spell as Republic of Ireland head coach, there is a perception that Stephen Kenny is never safe in his current role.
Republic of Ireland had the opportunty to build on their dramatic 3-2 victory over Armenia when they played host to a Norway side missing Erling Braut Haaland on Thursday.
However, despite the absence of the Manchester City forward, Republic of Ireland went down to a 2-1 defeat in Dublin through a goal five minutes from the final whistle.
Kenny has now overseen four defeats in seven games and although a six-match unbeaten run preceded that, it feels like his side needs a win on Sunday.
That particularly rings true when considering that the Boys in Green are due to face the likes of heavyweights France and the Netherlands in their Euro 2024 qualification group come March.
Malta vs. Republic of Ireland Head to head
These two nations have previously met on seven occasions across three competitions, where Republic of Ireland have claimed victory in all matches, scoring 24 goals and conceding just two in the process. Republic of Ireland won 3-2 away in their last meeting in the European Championship Qualification.
28/05/1989Republic of Ireland2Malta0World Cup Qualification
15/11/1989Malta0Republic of Ireland2World Cup Qualification
02/06/1990Malta0Republic of Ireland3Friendlies
14/10/1998Republic of Ireland5Malta0European Championship Qualification
08/09/1999Malta2Republic of Ireland3European Championship Qualification
Malta Team News
With building momentum his main priority, Gilbert Aguis is not expected to make many changes to his Malta starting lineup for this game.
Juan Corbalan and Ferdinando Apap appear most likely to come into the team after their early introductions in the game against Greece last time out.
Malta's Last 5 Matches
12/06/2022Malta1San Marino0Nations League
Republic of Ireland Team News
Kenny may want to hand game time to some of the Republic of Ireland players who started against Norway among the replacements.
Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher will hope to feature in goal, with Seamus Coleman and Darragh Lenihan playing in defence, while Will Smallbone and Mark Sykes could make their debuts.
Republic of Ireland's Last 5 Matches
11/06/2022Republic of Ireland3Scotland0Nations League
14/06/2022Ukraine1Republic of Ireland1Nations League
24/09/2022Scotland2Republic of Ireland1Nations League
27/09/2022Republic of Ireland3Armenia2Nations League
17/11/2022Republic of Ireland1Norway2Friendlies
Malta vs. Republic of Ireland: Odds and Predictions
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