England, currently ranked 12th in the world by FIFA, is one of the favorites to outright advance to the 2018 World Cup by topping Group F competitions. The group also includes powerhouses Slovakia, Scotland, and Slovenia.
The Three Lions is coming off a 1-0 win over 28th-ranked Slovakia last Sep. 4 on the road at the Štadión Antona Malatinského in Trnava to begin their World Cup qualifying campaign on a winning note, BBC Sport reported.
After an almost 0-0 draw with the two teams failing to score a goal in 90 minutes, Liverpool winger Adam Lallana scored the winner five minutes into stoppage time as he fired a cross from defender Danny Rose in between the legs of Slovakia keeper Matus Kozacik towards the net.
It was the first goal of Lallana for the national squad. However, the Liverpool standout will miss this game versus Malta due to injury.
Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane will also be unavailable in this match as the two are also currently nursing separate injuries.
Team captain Wayne Rooney will lead caretaker manager Gareth Southgate’s squad.
Meanwhile, 176th-ranked Malta was demolished by Scotland, 1-5, at their own home ground of National Stadium in Ta’ Qali also on Sep. 4 to start their campaign on a low note, as per the Mirror.
Striker Alfred Effiong was the lone goalscorer for head coach Pietro Ghedin’s side as he equalized the match in the 13th minute after Scotland’s Robert Snodgrass scored the opening goal in the ninth. Snodgrass went on to score a hat-trick to crush the hosts.
An easy win for England is projected, but given their recent mercurial performances, anything can happen
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