Preview: England v. Malta
Northern Quota's Tom Walton previews England's upcoming game with Malta.
England approach Saturday’s World Cup 2018 Qualifier against Malta at arguably their lowest point in recent memory. Not only were England humiliated at Euro 2016 by Iceland, but last week's revelations of alleged corruption involving England Manager Sam Allardyce has left the national game in disrepute.
With Big Sam’s ignominious departure for his “inappropriate” conduct, the FA have appointed England U21 manager Gareth Southgate as the interim manager and he will have 4 games to stake his claim for the job on a full-time basis.
There could not be a more generous welcome into full international management for Gareth than facing a Malta side 176th in the FIFA Rankings. Despite the current public contempt towards the entire England set-up, Southgate will be expected to guide his team to an easy victory against a team ranked 165 places below them.
In his first act as manager, Southgate declared that Wayne Rooney will continue his duties as England captain during 4 his game tenure. He has also recalled Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who was snubbed for Sam Allardyce’s first, and final, England squad.
There will also be potential debut’s for Man Utd’s Jesse Lingard, West ham’s Michail Antonio and Burnley’s very own Stockport native, Michael Keane.
John Stones is the only Man City player still at the club to be called up to the squad, with Raheem Sterling having pulling out due to injury. In addition to the before mentioned Jesse Lingard and Wayne Rooney; Chris Smalling and Marcus Rashford form the Man Utd contingent all vying for a place in the first 11.
Here below is the England team in full:
Joe Hart (Torino) Fraser Forster (Southampton) Tom Heaton (Burnley)
Gary Cahill (Chelsea) Chris Smalling (Man Utd) Danny Rose (Spurs) Kyle Walker (Spurs) John Stones (Man City) Ryan Bertrand (Southampton) Phil Jagielka (Everton) Michael Keane (Burnley)
Wayne Rooney (Man Utd) Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace) Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal) Dele Alli (Spurs) Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) Eric Dier (Spurs) Theo Walcott (Arsenal) Jesse Lingard (Man Utd) Michail Antonio (West Ham)
Jamie Vardy (Leicester) Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) Marcus Rashford (Man Utd)
Where you can watch the match
England vs Malta will kick on 8th October at 5pm at Wembley stadium. Live Coverage of the match will be on ITV starting from 4:30pm.