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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)