Malta national teams head coach Michele Marcolini suffered a double blow ahead of this week’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Italy as influential midfielder Teddy Teuma and striker Jodi Jones are set to miss out of the match due to injury.
Malta face a tough double header in the next ten days when on Saturday they face Italy at the Stadio San Nicola of Bari before hosting Ukraine at the National Stadium on Tuesday.
The national team have been stepping up their preparations for these matches for the past ten days and are expected to travel to Italy on a charter flight on Thursday.
However, it is highly unlikely that Teuma and Jones will be part of the travelling squad as they are currently recovering from injury.
On Sunday, Marcolini named a 28-man squad and with Teuma and Jones out of the equation it is not expected that the Italian will draft in any replacements and will travel with a 26-man squad.
Teuma was in the starting formation for his club Reims in Saturday’s Ligue 1 match against league leaders Monaco.
The Malta midfielder managed to put his name on the scoresheet when he converted a penalty on 57 minutes.
However, Teuma failed to complete the match as he picked up an injury late on and was replaced four minutes from time.
It is understood Teuma underwent tests with his club’s medical team who informed the Malta FA that the midfielder is unable to make the trip and join his national team-mates and will start his rehabilitation immediately.
On the other hand, Jodi Jones was named in the starting formation for Notts County as the League Two side came from behind to secure a 1-1 away draw against Barrow.
The former Coventry City forward was replaced two minutes from time and after the match it was discovered that the skilful winger picked up a neck injury that ruled him out of the match against Italy.
It remains to be seen whether Jones will make sufficient progress in the coming days to recover full fitness and join the team for the match against Ukraine on Tuesday.
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