Malta with a disability (+2.5)

Malta played an excellent opening match. She was able to impose a fight on North Macedonia (1:2) and kept the intrigue in the match until the very end. One of the factors of such a performance can be considered the influence of the new coach – Michele Marcolini, who was able to surprise the opponent.

“Joanites” and before that they were doing fine. For example, in the League of Nations, they caused a lot of problems for Estonia, which was able to snatch the victory in two direct confrontations only in the 86th and 90th minutes. And on the eve of Euro 2024 qualifying, they defeated Israel (2:1) and Greece (2:2) in friendly matches.

The Italians immediately lost their debut match against England (1:2), giving only 1 shot on goal. By creating 1.08 xg, she allowed 1.98 xg in her network. Partially affected by staff shortages in the last third. The match was missed by such useful attackers as Immobile and Chiesa.

After winning the last Euro 2020, Squadra Azzurra does not look so convincing anymore. It was only thanks to the defeat of England and Germany in the League of Nations that she managed to take 1st place in the group, but she still had to work hard in matches against Hungary. In a control friendly match before these qualifiers, Italy unexpectedly lost to Austria (0:2).

Of course, Malta is significantly behind in terms of efficiency, but against the backdrop of the staffing problems of the Italians, it is not able to lose much.