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Luxembourg coach lauds Malta’s growth, eyes more playing time for youths

Luxembourg’s coach Luc Holtz heaped praised on the Malta national team as his side will host Michele Marcolini’s selection at the Stade de Luxembourg, tonight (kick-off: 8.15pm).

The Luxembourg and Malta teams – ranked 91st and 172nd respectively – will rub shoulders in an international friendly that will serve as a preparation ahead of next week’s European qualifications.

While Malta will face two tough tasks in England and Ukraine, Luxembourg will take on Liechtenstein and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Coach Holtz, who picked 31 players for this trio of games, described Malta as a very physical team while underlining their tactical organisation which helped them grow in recent years.

“Our players have to be focused from the start if we want to get a positive result,” he told a news conference.

For this friendly, Holtz will be without eight players from the initial 31 selected – Vincent Thill, Seid Korac, Anthony Moris, Marvin Martins, Daniel Sinani, Lars Gerson, Enes Mahmutovic and Mica Pinto.

The absence of these key players means that there will be more playing time for a lot of young players, including newcomers to the senior side.

Holtz commented that the development of the national team has to go through the integration of the young ones which eventually will help to make this team even more competitive.

Among the young players named in this squad are Borussia Monchengladbach’s goalkeeper Tiago Pereira Cardoso, Gil Vicente’s defender Miguel Goncalves, Rayan Berberi of Standard Liege and David Jonathans who is on the books of Bayern Munich II.

Luxembourg faced Malta six times in its history, winning just once – their latest encounter in 2018 (1-0).


Timothy Martin (Virton, Belgium), Tiago Pereira Cardoso (Borussia Monchengladbach, Germany), Ralph Schon (Wiltz 71).

Dirk Carlson (St Polten, Austria), Maxime Chanot (New York City, USA), Eldin Dzogovic (FC Magdeburg, Germany), Miguel Goncalves (Gil Vicente), Michael Goncalves Pinto (Sparta Rotterdam, Netherlands), Tim Hall (Ujpest, Hungary), Laurent Jans (Waldhof Mannheim, Germany), Seid Korac (Degerfors, Sweden), Fabio Lohei (Metz, France), Enes Mahmutovic (CSKA Sofia, Bulgaria), Marvin Mertens (Austria Vienna, Austria).

Leandro Barreiro (Mainz, Germany), Rayana Berberi (Standard Liege, Belgium), Florian Bohnert (Bastia, France), Lars Gerson (Kongsvinger, Norway), Christopher Martins (Spartak Moscow, Russia), Mathias Olesen (Koln, Germany), Timothe Rupil (Mainz, Germany), Vincent Thill (AIK, Sweden).

Yvandro Sanches (Borussia Monchengladbach, Germany), Alessio Curci (Mainz, Germany), Leon Elshan (Eintracht Trier, Germany), David Jonathans (Bayern Munich II, Germany), Gerson Rodrigues (Dynamo Kiev, Ukraine), Daniel Sinani (Wigan Athletic, England), Dejvid Sinani (Dudelange), Jayson Videira (Hannover 96, Germany).

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