Malta v England tips
FootyOn writers pick out Malta v England tips, ahead of the pair’s 2018 World Cup Group F qualifier at the Ta’ Qali Stadium.
Live on ITV at 19:45 BST on Friday, September 1.
Like Belgium v Gibraltar on Thursday, this is top versus bottom in their pool, as Gareth Southgate’s table leaders currently sit two points ahead of nearest rivals Slovakia after six matches.
It will be the Three Lions’ first fixture since former captain and record goalscorer Wayne Rooney retired, but they still have a strong-looking line-up.
Former British territory Malta, meanwhile, are still without a point and have scored just twice.
The likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Raheem Sterling ave all been called up by Southgate, while there could be debuts for Harry Maguire and Nathaniel Chalobah. Jordan Pickford will miss out on a first cap this time after pulling out through injury.
Malta have a familiar player to some of England’s stars in Ebbsfleet United defender Sam Magri, who played alongside the likes of Sterling, Pickford and Chalobah at the 2011 U17 World Cup.
Former Coventry City striker Michael Mifsud is still going strong too, and the Falcons’ national skipper and record scorer is set to earn his 128th cap.
So, read on for our Malta v England tips, in what will be their fifth senior meeting in history…
England to win by two goals
Unsurprisingly, England have won all four previous battles with Malta, but their two matches on the road have been by just one goal.
The Falcons also limited the Three Lions to just a 2-0 victory earlier on this qualifying campaign at Wembley – both of which were in the first half.
England are not in the best of form, having won just one of their last five internationals, while the Maltese shocked Ukraine 1-0 on neutral turf back in June.
But odds of 10/3 with Sky Bet look tasty for the visitors to triumph by exactly two goals.
Dele Alli to score first
Harry Kane will go another August without scoring again but, in his goal absence, Tottenham teammate Dele Alli have struck twice in the Premier League.
Attacker Alli also happened to net against Malta back in October, in the opening half, to secure the 2-0 victory.
He is one of England’s first names on the teamsheet these days, and will be looking to score early again.
You can back Alli at an enticing 4/1 price with betway to get the first goal of the game.
England to win with both teams scoring
The last time England travelled to Malta in 2000, a certain Southgate came on as a second-half substitute for Martin Keown, who opened the scoring.
Emile Heskey grabbed a late winner, after Richard Wright’s own goal in a 2-1 win, and there is plenty to suggest that the Falcons can strike again – albeit in a loss.
As mentioned above, Malta recently managed to beat Ukraine 1-0 in Graz, Austria, thanks to a goal from Zach Muscat.
They have also scored against both Slovakia and Scotland this World Cup qualifying campaign, and have a couple more players capable of finding the net – including veteran Mifsud.
In his 16-year international career to date, he’s netted against the likes of Croatia, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Czech Republic.
So, why not take odds of 15/4 with betway for England to win and both teams to score.
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