Will Malta be crushed also by the Greeks?

During a press conference held prior to Malta’s upcoming match against Greece at Grodig Stadium in Austria, national team coach Michele Marcolini outlined his strategies and addressed key challenges facing his team.

The match, which is scheduled for June 11th, holds significant importance as Malta prepares for the upcoming Nations League.

Reflecting on recent setbacks, Marcolini acknowledged the disappointing performance in their previous encounter with Czechia. “We must now transform our frustration into a response and concentrate on tomorrow’s game,” he stated, stressing the significance of learning from past errors. He specifically highlighted the mistakes and poor decisions made during the Czechia match, emphasizing the need for improvement. “We were thoroughly prepared for the last game, but we failed to showcase our efforts on the field,” he remarked, underscoring the necessity for better execution against Greece.

Lineup Changes Recognizing the demanding and arduous season, Marcolini made known his intention to rotate the team. “I will be making changes and giving opportunities to those players who I believe have earned it through their hard work in training,” he disclosed. Key players Pepe and Steve Borg will be absent from the game due to unavailability and injury concerns, respectively. “Pepe is not able to play, and Steve Borg is experiencing discomfort, so we will not take any risks with him,” confirmed Marcolini. He intends to implement 4 or 5 alterations to combat fatigue and provide chances for other players, while also looking ahead to future competitions, specifically the Nations League.

Photos courtesy of Domenic Aquilina / Malta FA

The Challenge Ahead Regarding the opposition, Marcolini acknowledged the strength of the Greek team. “Greece is a formidable team. They were eliminated from the Euros after a penalty shootout against Georgia and put in an impressive performance against Germany, losing in the final minutes,” he observed. Although he conceded that Greece may not be as physically imposing as Czechia, he commended their technical abilities, aggression, and cohesion. “We faced difficulties with the physicality of Czechia due to their 5 or 6 players who are over 1.90m tall, but Greece is very skilled, aggressive, and compact,” added Marcolini.

Despite the obstacles, Marcolini emphasised the significance of concentrating on Malta’s unique style of play. “It is essential that we focus on our distinct style of play and demonstrate our progress, despite the setback in the previous game,” he affirmed. He stressed the need to transform the team’s frustration into a constructive force on the field. “We must harness our anger and frustration, carry it into tomorrow’s match against Greece, and respond effectively on the pitch.”

Muscat advocates for accountability and determination ahead of the Greece match Defender Zach Muscat highlighted the importance of introspection and taking responsibility after their recent disappointment. “We must reflect upon and analyse the disappointment from the previous game and hold ourselves accountable,” Muscat stated, underscoring the team’s commitment to learning from their errors. He emphasised the necessity of channelling their anger and frustration positively, using it as motivation for the upcoming match against Greece. “We must harness our anger and frustration, carry it into tomorrow’s game against Greece, and respond effectively on the pitch.”

Revisiting their previous meeting with Greece two years ago, Zach Muscat, a player on the National Team, acknowledged that both teams have undergone changes. “They are in the process of creating something fresh, and we too are dedicated to the Nations League. This match is not only a friendly, but also a valuable opportunity to prepare for September,” he remarked, emphasizing the dual significance of the game.

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On Tuesday 11th June, Malta will engage in an international friendly match against Greece at the Grodig stadium in Austria. The match is scheduled to commence at 18:00.

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