Nigerian-born Malta international Alfred Effiong believes his international teammates will rise to the occasion when they face a strong England squad in a World Cup qualifier at the Ta’Qali National Stadium on Friday night.
Malta coach Pietro Ghedin will not be able to count on the services of Effiong, who is suspended, but the Balzan star is confident that the Islanders can claim their first point in the qualifiers without him in the line-up.
”Unfortunately, I am suspended for this game against England after collecting my second yellow against Slovenia in the last qualifier but I will be available for the game against Scotland next Monday,” Effiong told allnigeriasoccer.com.
”The team is well prepared and by standards the English team are the favorites but I think the Maltese team will give a good account of themselves. As you know in football anything can happen”.
In the absence of Effiong, Andre Schembri and Jean Paul Farrugiae are expected to lead Malta’s charge for goals, and the Nigerian believes they can hold their own against England defenders, including Gary Cahill (Chelsea) and Phil Jones ( Manchester United).
”The Maltese coach has good strikers at his disposal who are in good form with their respective clubs so I think they are prepared to rise to the occasion,” Effiong concluded.