22 | 08 | 16
DID YOU KNOW?
1. Scotland have never lost to Malta, in five previous matches, and in two competitive games – in World Cup qualifiers – they have won two, scored five and conceded none.
2. Malta have played 92 World Cup qualifying games going back to 1972, and they have lost 81 of those whilst conceding 275 goals. Of the remaining 11, Malta have drawn nine and won just two, with just 30 goals scored. Malta’s first ever World Cup win came against Estonia in May 1993. Their last victory was against Armenia, in June 2013.
3. Malta are ranked 176th in the FIFA World Rankings, their lowest ever place.
4. Striker Michael Mifsud scored the winner against Armenia and is Malta’s leading all-time striker with 40 goals in 113 international appearances.
5. That haul includes five goals in a 7-1 friendly win over Liechtenstein in March 2008. No fewer than 31 of his 40 goals have been scored at the National Stadium in Ta’ Qali, Valletta.
6. Christian Dailly scored the first of his six Scotland senior goals against Malta in June 1997.
7. Scotland are bidding to reach the World Cup finals for the first time since 1998, their longest period without a place on the greatest stage.
8. Manager Gordon Strachan will hope to bring his experience to the fore, having played at both the 1982 and 1986 finals.
9. Scotland are bidding to win their opening World Cup qualifier for the first time in 16 years. They last won their first game against Latvia, in Riga, on 2 September 2000. Since then they have failed to score, in three World Cup openers, drawing 0-0 against Serbia and Slovenia and losing to Macedonia.
10. Alan McInally scored three Scotland goals – and two of those were netted against Malta, in 1990.