Malta vs SloveniaWorld Cup, KO: 19:45 Oct 8, 2021,
Slovenia will be looking to keep alive their hopes of making the playoffs when they travel to Ta'Qali Stadium for a World Cup qualifying Group H clash with Malta. The Slovenians are targeting their first away win of the campaign and given Malta's struggles, will be confident of coming out in top.
Malta suffered a 2-0 defeat to Russia in their previous fixture in the qualifiers. They looked lively for much of the contest and created a few chances but generally lacked the cutting edge in attack.
It has been a tough qualifying campaign in a difficult group for Malta, who have claimed just one win from six matches. They are second from bottom in the group and are nine points off joint leaders Croatia and Russia.
Malta's only victory in the qualifiers was a 3-0 home victory over bottom team Cyprus. However, Devis Mangia's men generally struggle at home, where they have lost three of their last four matches across all competitions.
Slovenia are also coming off a defeat as they went down 3-0 to Croatia last time out in the qualifiers. They were on the back foot for much of the encounter and could only muster two attempts on target.
It was the first defeat in five matches across all competitions for Slovenia, who have looked generally solid in recently. Matjaz Kek’s men are six points off the pace in Group H and will be targeting a return to winning ways in order to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Slovenia have quality in attack with Josip Ilicic and Andraz Sporar but tend to struggle at the other end of the pitch. They head into Friday’s clash with just one clean sheet in their last five matches in the qualifiers.
How the bookies view it
Head to head
Slovenia have never lost to Malta, claiming six wins and a draw from seven previous matches. They earned a 1-0 victory in the reverse fixture back in March.
Players to watch
Joseph Mbong should start in attack for Malta and was on target in the victory over Cyprus in their previous home fixture. The forward is priced at 10/1 by bet365 to find the net on Friday.
Forwards Josip Ilicic and Andraz Sporar will be the ones to watch with both men netting a brace each in a recent 6-0 friendly victory over Gibraltar. Sport Nation has Sporar at 19/10 to score anytime while Ilicic is priced at 3/1 by MansionBet in the same market.
Anything else catch the eye?
Slovenia can be tipped to earn a win and over 2.5 goals at 7/4 with bet365.
This World Cup match between Malta and Slovenia will be played on Oct 8, 2021 and kick off at 19:45. Check below for our tipsters best Malta vs Slovenia prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.