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Malta v Gibraltar: Match Preview

Gibraltar play the first of an away double-header of internationals this evening, as they take on Malta in a friendly.

Photo (C) Neil Wilson

The friendly could give Julio Ribas a chance to rotate some of his squad, keeping players fresh ahead of Saturday’s Nations League match at Liechtenstein, while also trying new ideas in a low-risk encounter.

The two teams have met once before – Kyle Casciaro scored the winner in Faro in that match and he is in the squad again for the game at the Ta’Qali National Stadium, which kicks off at 6pm.

Gib come into this match on the back of a 1-0 win vs San Marino, while Malta’s two matches in September were a 3-2 loss to Faroe Islands and a 1-1 draw with Latvia – this game is expected to be a tight encounter with Gib having the chance of recording another positive result under Ribas.

22 of the 23-man squad have travelled for the game – the only absentee is seemingly Dayle Coleing, with the keeper expected to travel to Vaduz for the match on Saturday instead – giving Kyle Goldwin and Jamie Robba a chance to stake their claim on the international stage and push for a start vs Liechtenstein.

Betting:

As the home side, Malta go into this game as favourites at 4/7, with the draw 13/5 and a Gib win as big as 5/1 in places. Low-profile friendlies don’t tend to offer player markets such as goalscorer or bookings, so another angle to look at is the Both Teams To Score, with 11/10 on offer for goals on both sides.

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Gibraltar squad confirmed for next week’s internationals

Gibraltar Head Coach Julio Ribas has this morning announced a 23-man squad for next week’s friendly at Malta, and Nations League encounter away to Liechtenstein.

Photo (C) C Correa Photography

The main omission from the squad is national captain Roy Chipolina, with the Chronicle reporting that the defender misses out due to injury. From the last squad, Bradley Banda, Ethan Britto, Jean-Carlos Garcia and Anthony Hernandez also miss out.

Banda’s omission, which FG reported yesterday being due to his need to play for the U21s in their internationals, sees a long-awaited return to the national set-up for Jamie Robba – the St Joseph’s stopper has been one of the most in-form keepers in the league in the last couple of seasons.

There are also returns to the national team for the likes of Robba’s Saints teammates, Erin Barnett and Alain Pons, as well as Europa’s Ethan Jolley and Lynx vice-captain Brad Power.

The squad travel to Ta’Qali to take on Malta on Wednesday, in a friendly originally due to happen back in March, before then making the trip to Vaduz for a crunch Nations League tie vs Liechtenstein – both sides won against San Marino in the September Nations League matches, and this will be a key match in the battle for promotion.

The squad is as follows (Photo (C) Gibraltar FA)

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Gibraltar v Liechtenstein: Match Preview

Gibraltar go into Wednesday’s friendly with Liechtenstein with every chance of taking a positive result from the game at the Victoria Stadium.

Jeff Wood will lead his team into action for the first time in Gibraltar since March 2014 when they lost 2-0 to Estonia. This time, the national team go in with more experience after a tough qualifying campaign, but also with several fresh faces looking to claim a long term place in the national team.

Their opponents, Liechtenstein, come into this game looking for a first win since March 2015 when they beat San Marino 1-0 in a friendly. This is the first of a double-header for them as well; Liechtenstein head to Marbella after the game to face the Faroe Islands in a friendly match.

Both teams will fancy their chances of victory tonight, which promises for an open, entertaining affair. The home side will miss the experience and ability of players like Lee Casciaro and Jake Gosling, but will still be confident of fielding a strong eleven capable of overcoming their opposition.

There are no fresh injury concerns reported by either side; Liechtenstein may start with vastly experience goalkeeper Peter Jehle in goal. The former Boavista stopper already has 116 caps to his name, some 100 more than Gibraltar’s most experienced international, Joseph Chipolina. Meanwhile, naturalised Liechtensteiner Marcel Büchel looks to be their greatest threat. The Austrian-born striker plays for Serie A side Empoli, on loan from Italian giants Juventus and should possess the ability to trouble Gibraltar’s backline.

Betting:

Gibraltar go into this game as notable outsiders and you can get as high as 10/3 on the team securing victory with StanJames.com. The travelling side come in at 4/5 to take victory with them and leave the home fans disappointed, while a draw is 11/4.

The betting does however point towards goals though, with Both Teams To Score an 8/11 shot in the betting markets. Gibraltar’s only victory since joining UEFA was a 1-0 victory over Malta; a repeat of that scoreline tonight is 10/1.

If you fancy a more tense affair, then Under 1.5 goals is a very tempting 13/5 and could be good value for money with neither side scoring more than one goal in a game over the last two years.

Full Betting

Football Gibraltar’s Predicted Lineups:

Gibraltar: Robba; JC Garcia, R Chipolina, Casciaro, J Chipolina; Sergeant, Walker, Bardon; K Casciaro, Yome, Cabrera

Liechtenstein: Jehle; Rechsteiner, Kaufmann, Brandle, Burgmeier; Weiser, Martin Büchel, Yildiz, Wolfinger; Kuhne, Marcel Büchel