Antoine Griezmann ‘Fed Up’ With Barcelona Links Amid Rumours of Discontent at Atletico Madrid

?Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann has revealed he is tired of seeing his name linked with a move to Barcelona, as rumours suggesting he is unhappy at Los Rojiblancos persist.

The Frenchman has been linked with a move to the Camp Nou for a number of years and was widely expected to join Barcelona last summer, but dramatically revealed his decision to stay with Atletico as part of a documentary on Spanish television.

Antoine Griezmann

Recent reports have suggested that Griezmann is keen for ?Barcelona to reignite their interest in him this summer, but the World Cup winner told ?Univision that he has grown tired of the rumours.

He said: “I’m used to it and a little fed up, every year it’s the same so I’m used to it.”

The link between Griezmann and Barcelona has resurfaced in recent weeks in the aftermath of ?Atletico‘s dramatic elimination from the ?Champions League at the hands of a ?Cristiano Ronaldo inspired ?Juventus.

The 28-year-old is said to have ?issued an apology to Barcelona officials for rejecting their interest in him last summer, keen to see the Blaugrana make a fresh move for him at the end of the season

?Bayern Munich have also been linked with a move for Griezmann, with the Bavarians having completed ?an €80m deal to sign his teammate Lucas Hernandez on Wednesday.

Griezmann is thought to have grown frustrated with Atletico’s inability to win regular trophies, instead believing that Barcelona, who look set to secure yet another ?La Liga title thanks to their ten-point lead at the top of the standings, will be able to offer him the success which he craves.

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Ernesto Valverde’s side could finance a move for Griezmann with the sale of Brazilian winger Philippe Coutinho, who has struggled to impress since his big-money move from ?Liverpool in 2018. 

Club officials are alleged to have grown weary with Coutinho’s inconsistency, and could raise a significant amount of money if they part ways with the ?Chelsea and ?Manchester United target this summer. 

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Barcelona Ready to Listen to Offers for Samuel Umtiti as Man Utd Prepare £77m Bid

?Barcelona are prepared to listen to offers for defender Samuel Umtiti, who has been targeted by Manchester United in recent months.

The Frenchman has missed the majority of this season as a result of a knee injury, with Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet shining in his absence. The Blaugrana also remain linked with a move for a new centre-back, leading to rumours of an imminent exit from the Camp Nou.


?United have been considering lodging a bid for Umtiti, and ?Goal claim that the Catalan giants would be prepared to enter negotiations with any interested parties if they receive a bid of at least £60m.

?Barcelona could demand as much as £77m for the World Cup winner, as they look to raise funds to finance some expensive transfers this summer. 

After agreeing a £65m deal to sign Ajax wonderkid Frenkie de Jong, Barcelona are said to be pursuing his teammate, centre-back Matthijs de Ligt, who could command a similar fee.

Matthijs de Ligt

They see Umtiti as the best source of income, with both Thomas Vermaelen and Jeison Murillo are both set to leave the club for free when their contracts expire at the end of the season. Club officials are unwilling to part ways with either ?Pique or Lenglet, whilst young Jean-Clair Todibo is set to be given more time to impress.

As a result, Umtiti is the only centre-back who could command a sizeable fee, with United thought to be incredibly keen on signing the 25-year-old as they look to strengthen their defensive line.

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The Frenchman initially lost his place in the starting lineup after aggravating a knee injury in September. He returned to face ?Atletico Madrid seven games later, but was then forced into another extended period on the sidelines after the injury persisted.

He missed 11 league games, giving Lenglet plenty of opportunities to impress alongside Pique. The pair guided Barcelona to eight clean sheets in Umtiti’s absence, and the club now see Lenglet as a more reliable option than his fellow Frenchman.

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International Roundup: How Barcelona’s 15 National Team Stars Fared Over the International Break

As La Liga pauses for the March international break, Barcelona hold a ten point lead at the top of the table with eight matches left to play, as the Spanish giants close in on their fourth title in five years.

Barca’s last league defeat came in November, but Ernesto Valverde’s impressive squad cohesion has been forcibly interrupted as no less than 15 stars traveled to all corners of the globe representing their countries.

Have a look at how Barcelona’s players fared during the La Liga hiatus…


Lionel Messi (Argentina)

Barcelona’s talisman came out of his second international retirement and was immediately reinstated to Argentina’s starting eleven for a friendly against Venezuela.


Argentina couldn’t make it a triumphant return, however, losing 3-1 to Venezuela in a friendly at the Wanda Metropolitano, despite Messi earning his usual plaudits

Although the La Liga top scorer played all 90 minutes, Barca supporters were left holding their breath after their superstar picked up a groin injury, forcing him to miss his country’s second friendly against Morocco, and he now faces a race to be fit for the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final against Manchester United.


Brazil (Philippe Coutinho, Arthur)

Rumours of a summer exit continue to swirl around the Brazilian midfielder, but Coutinho put speculation aside to start both of his country’s friendlies this month. 

Coutinho played all 90 minutes of a 1-1 draw with Panama, before seeing 72 minutes of action in a 3-1 victory against the Czech Republic, which saw the five-time World Cup winners battle back from a goal down to emerge victorious.


Barca’s other Brazilian midfielder, Arthur, has found international opportunities harder to come by with Real Madrid’s Casemiro in front of him, but the emerging star did play 70 minutes of the draw with Panama before coming off the bench after 72 minutes against the Czechs.


Arturo Vidal (Chile)

Vidal continued his remarkable international career, playing 90 minutes in each of his country’s friendlies to earn his 104th and 105th caps.

Chile, who didn’t even qualify for the 2018 World Cup, will be concerned to see their protracted struggles continue, losing 3-1 to Mexico in San Diego before drawing 1-1 with the United States in Houston just months before this summer’s Copa America.


Spain (Sergi Roberto, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets)

Each member of Barca’s Spanish contingent was given 90 minutes in one of Spain’s two matches while featuring on the bench in the other.

Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets took the field for Spain’s first Euro qualifier against Norway as Sergio Ramos scored a second-half penalty to earn Luis Enrique’s side a 2-1 win.


Spain’s second qualifier, a 2-0 victory in Malta saw Alba and Busquets relegated to the bench as Sergi Roberto played a starring role, first at right back and then later in midfield. 


Nelson Semedo (Portugal)

Portugal vs USA - International Friendly

Semedo has seen limited opportunities for Portugal with Juventus’ Joao Cancelo ahead of him in the pecking order, remaining an unused substitute for both of his side’s Euro Qualifiers, a 0-0 draw with Ukraine before a 1-1 draw with Serbia. 


Samuel Umtiti (France)

The World Cup holders got off to the best possible start in their Euro 2020 qualification bid, hitting four goals past Moldova and Iceland en route to six easy points.


Locked into a formidable centre-back partnership with Raphael Varane, Umititi played every minute of his country’s international action, even scoring the opener in the simple 4-0 victory against Iceland.


Gerard Pique (Catalonia)

Despite retiring from the Spain set-up after his country’s elimination from the 2018 World Cup, Pique returned to the international stage to play for Catalonia.

Although the match was not officially recognised by FIFA, Pique played all 90 minutes in a team that included Premier League stars Oriol Romeu and Martin Montoya, as Catalonia defeated Venezuela 2-1 courtesy of a late Javi Puado winner in front a near capacity crowd in Girona.


Thomas Vermaelen (Belgium)

Belgium cruised to a pair of two-goal victories against Russia and Cyprus to start their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign on the front foot.

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Vermaelen was an unused substitute for the 3-1 win against Russia but started at the heart of a back three in the 2-0 victory against Cyprus.


Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (Germany)

Cries for Ter Stegen to usurp Manuel Neuer for the starting job as Germany keeper has turned to deafening roars over the past few months with the Barca number one earning a reputation as one of the game’s best goalkeepers.

Joachim Low, however, remained loyal to his captain as Neuer started both of his country’s matches, including a dramatic 3-2 victory against the Netherlands that saw Nico Shulz grab a late winner for a youthful German team.

Prior to that Euro qualifier, the Barca goalie replaced Neuer for the second half of 1-1 friendly against Serbia, Ter Stegen keeping a clean sheet in his 45 minutes of action.


Jasper Cillessen (Netherlands)

Ter Stegen’s Barcelona deputy continues to be a worthy starter for the Netherlands, playing every minute of his country’s international action this month.

Jasper Cillessen

Cillessen kept a clean sheet in a 4-0 victory for the Dutch against Belarus before conceding a last-minute winner in the pulsating 3-2 defeat to Germany.


Ivan Rakitic (Croatia)

After reaching the World Cup final last summer, Croatia have struggled with a post-tournament hangover that seeped into the international break.


Rakitic maintained his starting role for his country as Croatia defeated Azerbaijan 2-1 before falling to a shock 2-1 defeat against Hungary, despite taking an early lead through Ante Rebic.


Jeison Murillo (Colombia)

The Colombian centre-back has predominantly featured on the bench for Barcelona since arriving from Valencia in January and continued to occupy a bench role for his national team.

Jeison Murillo

Murillo was an unused substitute for his side’s 1-0 friendly win against Japan, before playing half an hour as the replacement for an injured Yerry Mina in Colombia’s 2-1 friendly defeat to South Korea.

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Lionel Messi Provides Barcelona With Major Boost Ahead of Champions League Tie With Man Utd

?Barcelona have been handed a major fitness boost ahead of their Champions League quarter-final tie against Manchester United with news that Lionel Messi is set to be fit for the first leg.

The 31-year-old had been on international duty when he suffered a pelvic injury during Argentina’s 3-1 defeat to Venezuela, leaving question marks regarding the fitness of the forward in the games to come.

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?The Catalan side released a statement in the days that followed to confirm that ?Messi would return to the club in the wake of the injury, meaning he wouldn’t play in La Albiceleste’s second friendly of the international break against Morocco. 

According to ?The Sun however, Messi’s injury isn’t likely to be a serious one, with the media outlet claiming he’ll been in Ernesto Valverde’s squad to face Espanyol this weekend, as players return to their respective club sides following the latest round of international fixtures.


Following El Derbi Barceloni, the current La Liga leaders face Villarreal and Atletico Madrid, before the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final against ?United takes place at Old Trafford on 10 April.

It’s expected that Messi’s fitness will be monitored extremely closely between now and then, as the Argentine continues to be ?Barcelona’s main man when it comes to goalscoring and creating chances.

He’s scored 39 goals for Barcelona in all competitions this season, while also providing 18 assists in a campaign that could see the five-time Ballon d’Or winner finish the season by winning a third treble of his career (La Liga, Champions League and Copa del Rey), having done so in 2008/09 and 2014/15. 

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Samuel Umtiti Suggests Antoine Griezmann May ‘Regret’ Decision to Snub Barcelona for Atletico Madrid

?Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti has suggested that Antoine Griezmann will ‘regret’ his decision to remain at Atletico Madrid over joining his France teammate at the Camp Nou.

Griezmann opted against signing for the Catalan side in the summer, doing so through a video titled ‘The Decision’ to put an end to heavy speculation surrounding his future.

Samuel Umtiti,Antoine Griezmann,Raphael Varane,Paul Pogba

Umtiti – who was part of Dider Deschamps’ successful side in the summer – has suggested that the 27-year-old, who has 18 goals in 39 games for ?Atletico Madrid this season, may ‘regret’ the decision, before claiming that there is a space for him at ?Barcelona should he change his mind.

Speaking to Telefoot, as quoted by ?The Express, Umtiti said: “In our careers, we have to take decisions that we sometimes regret. I would be glad if Griezmann came to Barcelona, he has a place here.

“I know Antoine is very happy in Madrid and that he is very well there. He is at a team that plays for him.”


Both Griezmann and Umtiti were recently part of the France squad that began their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with routine wins over Moldova and Iceland, in what was just the defender’s 13th and 14th appearance for club and country this season respectively.

Umtiti’s campaign has been hampered by a knee injury, with the 25-year-old revealing that he put the short-term success of playing in the World Cup before the longer-term implications of missing the vast majority of this season. 

He added: “I took a risk because a World Cup is played every four years and you never know how many times you can play at one. It was a dream and I forced my left knee – things after got complicated but I do not regret my decision.”

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Malcom and Adrien Rabiot Targeted by Premier League Giants as Nightmare Season Draws to a Close

Several of England’s biggest clubs are set to battle it out in the summer to secure the signatures of highly-rated youngsters Malcom and Adrien Rabiot, as both players find themselves out of the pecking order at Barcelona and PSG respectively. 

Malcom was heavily recruited by a handful of Premier League sides in the summer of 2018 but ultimately decided to make the £46m switch from Bordeaux to Barcelona. The young Brazilian has yet to establish himself as a regular under Ernesto Valverde and has only made 15 appearances for the Blaugrana this campaign. 


Journalist Duncan Castles revealed on The Transfer Window podcast that a Premier League move may be in the cards for Malcom. As quoted by the Daily Star, Castles claimed: “[As well as Coutinho] they’ve also got Malcom on the market this summer and, again, I would see him as being a player that would appeal greatly to a number of the Premier League clubs.

“Manchester United obviously looked at him before he moved to Barcelona, Arsenal have been very keen on him, I believe Tottenham Hotspur have an interest in him too, although not sure he fits into the recruitment policy Tottenham have going into next season.”

Castles claims that even though Malcom did not get a lot of playing time at ?Barcelona, his purchase was part of a larger strategy to buy promising players and sell them on quickly for a profit. 

He added: “It’s a different kind of stockpiling of players, but they’re doing that Manchester City, Chelsea thing of buying players with the view of having them as part of their club for a season or a couple of seasons can increase their value and allow them to make profits from the transfer market that will subsidise the purchase of their superstar names they need to keep themselves at the top of the Spanish league and in the Champions League.”

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Rabiot’s transfer in the summer seem to be much more straightforward, as the Frenchman will be out of contract at the end of the season. The 23-year-old has not featured for PSG since the beginning of December, and football consultant Ian McGarry has said: “We know that Adrien Rabiot will definitely leave on a free, freedom of contract in the summer. 

“So I think you’ll see that there will be interest from the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham in some players at PSG. I guess one of the things that they have to consider of course is the high wages that PSG pay, so they’re coming in already at a high level.

“Rabiot, in particular, is only 23 but will be able to command an excess of £12-15m a season because there is no transfer fee involved, so that will be one of the sticking points for any player being recruited from Paris.”

Red Star Belgrade v Paris Saint-Germain - UEFA Champions League Group C

Malcom will try and impress potential suitors until the end of the season as Barcelona continue their fight for a 26th La Liga title, taking on Espanyol at the Camp Nou on Saturday night. Rabiot will once again be forced to watch from the stands, as PSG look to extend their lead at the top of Ligue 1 when they travel to Stadium TFC to take on Toulouse on Sunday night.

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Manchester United and Inter Suffer Blow as Barca Prepare to Hand Ivan Rakitic Contract Extension

Speculation surrounding Ivan Rakitic’s potential move away from Barcelona could be brought to an end in the forseeable future, as reports in Spain suggest that manager Ernesto Valverde is prepared to extend the midfielder’s contract.

The Croatian has been linked with a move away throughout the season, with Manchester United and Inter named as the primary interested parties, and the impending arrival of Frenkie de Jong to Camp Nou only seemed to add fuel to that fire. 

Ivan Rakitic

The 31-year-old, however, has been an increasingly central player for Valverde throughout the campaign, scoring or assisting in each of his last four La Liga appearances, and ?AS say the boss is keen to reward his contributions rather than sell up.

Though he is contracted until 2021 as things stand, Valverde is reported to have given ?Barca his ‘blessing’ to offer the player renewed terms, something that would act as a deterrent should another European powerhouse come in with a bid. 

It adds further that he is a ‘staunch admirer’ of the player, and it comes after ?quotes from Rakitic earlier this month which suggested he is in no rush to move on. 

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“I like living in Spain,” he said. “Unfortunately, I can’t ask for another passport because I already have two, otherwise I’d also ask for a Spanish one because I’m fine here and I’m happy. 

“My family are happy here too and my daughters are doing well in Barcelona because we’re close to Seville. Therefore, staying here is perfect for me.”

In ?United’s case, it seemed as if the interest was cooling off regardless. It was ?recently reported that Paul Pogba’s reassurances over his future at Old Trafford saw the club step off in their pursuit of Rakitic, feeling perhaps as if there would be no room for both players in their side. 

Ivan Rakitic,Paul Pogba

All the reports seem to indicate that the Croatian isn’t entirely likely to move on this summer, though things can change quickly in football.

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Transfer Rumours: Fernandes to Man Utd, Thomas to Arsenal, Nandez to Leeds & More

It seems like just yesterday that teams were preparing for the 2018/19 season, and here we are again.

The rumours are plentiful, the fees are astronomical, and we’re only just getting started. This summer is going to be a fun one.

Here’s a roundup of six of the latest rumours doing the rounds.


Super Lig Starlet Turns Down Cardiff City as European Giants Swarm

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After moving to Turkey in 2017 for what looks like pocket change in today’s inflated market, Eljif Elmas has been a regular part of Fenerbahce’s lineup, but the team have struggled this season. However, he doesn’t want out just yet.

According to ?F5 Haber, the 19-year-old midfielder has rejected the chance to move to ?Cardiff City, instead believing remaining with the Yellow Canaries would be better for his development.

His resolve looks set to be tested soon, with the likes of ?Tottenham Hotspur, ?Manchester City and ?Real Madrid all said to be plotting offers for Elmas. Manager Ersun Yanal is set to pay close attention to the youngster, but he may find himself on the way out the exit door regardless.


Leeds Prepare Bid for Boca Juniors Star

Nahitan Nandez

Leeds United are desperately pushing for promotion to the Premier League and, if they do so, they’re keen on bringing a Uruguayan star with them.

The man in question is Boca Juniors midfielder Nahitan Nandez who, according to ?Ovacion, has found himself near the top of Leeds’ wish list for next season. He has a £12m release clause, but the Whites are ready to spend up to £25m to secure his signature.

?Several ?Serie A sides are also set to join the race, so Marcelo Bielsa’s men will need to secure promotion if they are to have any chance of convincing the 23-year-old to sign.


?Four Premier League Sides to Battle for Olympiacos Defender

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Leonardo Koutris is a wanted man. The Olympiacos left-back has enjoyed an impressive season, and the Greek star reportedly attracted plenty of spectators when his country faced off against Liechtenstein on Saturday.

Scouts from ?Leicester City, ?Everton, ?West Ham United and ?Newcastle United were all present, and ?TEAMtalk claim that they will all monitor him again when Greece travel to play Bosnia-Herzegovina on Tuesday.

?A price tag of £10m has been suggested, with the Red-Whites rejecting a bid of half that figure from Genoa in January. If they want him, they’ll have to pay up.


Barcelona to Profit From Any Grimaldo Deal as City & Atletico Ready Bids

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Few defenders in world football have generated as much hype as Benfica’s Alex Grimaldo. The former Barcelona man has developed into a machine at left-back, and links to the likes of Atletico Madrid and Manchester City have followed. Barcelona will be watching his transfer saga unfold, but not with a view to buying him back.

Instead, ?Mundo Deportivo note that the Blaugrana negotiated a clause when they sold Grimaldo for just €1.5m which will see them take home 15% of any future transfer fee. 

The Spaniard could cost anywhere upwards of €30m, which would be a welcome pay-day for Barcelona.


Arsenal Join Man City in Race for Thomas Partey

Thomas Teye Partey

Thomas Partey has long been the subject of transfer speculation. The Ghanaian is a constant part of Atletico’s squad, but regularly just as a substitute, and many fans fear he will look to leave in search of consistent football.

If he does, ?AS claim ?Arsenal and Manchester City will be leading the charge to lure him away from the Wanda Metropolitano. Atletico don’t want to lose Thomas, so any side would likely have to hit his €80m buyout clause to get the ball rolling.

The ?Premier League giants feel Thomas is a “perfect” fit for the league, and the 25-year-old could soon find himself leaving Atletico’s well-stocked midfield ranks.?


Sporting CP ‘Unaware’ of Man Utd Interest in Bruno Fernandes

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This summer looks set to be a busy one for Manchester United. The Red Devils have been linked with seemingly every player under the sun, and the latest man on their radar is Sporting CP star Bruno Fernandes. He’s been linked a lot recently.

Sporting don’t want to lose their captain, but ?Correio de Manha state ?that United would be able to get their man if they activate his release clause of €100m.

However, slight problem. Sporting know absolutely nothing about United’s interest – and they’ve not yet received a bit or any kind of approach.

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Jasper Cillessen’s Barcelona Nightmare Could End This Summer as Club Confirm Possible Departure

?Barcelona are keeping calm about their goalkeeping situation heading into next season despite Jasper Cillessen’s considerable unrest as backup, and have conceded they would allow him to leave the Camp Nou for the right fee.

Cillessen has been at Barca since joining from Ajax for £11.7m in 2016, but has managed just 28 appearances since that transfer, struggling to attain minutes thanks to the imperious form of Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

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However, according to ?Marca, La Blaugrana are both aware and understanding of the Dutch number one’s frustration at being confined to the bench during what should be his peak years and are willing to let him leave this summer for the right fee. 

The 29-year-old’s frustrations were bolstered in January when he was denied an exit, but it is now understood that he would be allowed to depart for a fee in the region of €45- €50m, significantly lower than his €60m release clause. 

However, with Cillessen’s current contract not set to expire until June 2021, they do not yet have to worry about him forcing through a move if that figure is not reached. 

Even so, they are keeping calm about the situation and, while they possess no plausible replacement as it stands, ?La Blaugrana have already identified a number of possible candidates. 


Alex Remiro of Athletic Bilbao has been a keeper the club have coveted in the past, and last October Bilbao confirmed the 24-year-old had asked to leave this summer after missing out on the number one spot at the club following Kepa Arrizabalaga’s exit. 

?Arsenal have been one side continuously linked with Cillessen, as they are in need of a new goalkeeper this summer ahead of Petr Cech’s upcoming retirement, however the Dutch number one will undoubtedly want to move to a club who will guarantee him the starting spot.

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Malta vs Spain Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

?Malta host Spain at the Ta’ Qali National Stadium on Tuesday as both sides look to continue their strong starts in Group F of the Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Ray Farrugia’s Malta side earned a 2-1 victory over Faroe Islands last time out, whilst Spain claimed victory by the same scoreline over Norway, giving Luis Enrique’s side the perfect start to their qualifying campaign.

With both sides set to play their final game of the current international break, each will be keen to conclude the period on a high and strengthen their positions in Group F after both enjoyed positive opening games.

Here is 90min’s preview of Tuesday’s European qualifying clash.


Where to Watch

When Is Kick Off?? ?Tuesday 26 March
?What Time Is Kick Off? ?19:45 (BST)
?Where Is it Played? ?Ta’ Qali National Stadium
?TV Channel/Live Stream? ?Sky Sports Football
?Referee? ?TBC

Team News

Malta will be without Andre Agius due to suspension after the defender was sent off during the 2-1 win over Faroe Islands on Saturday. 

Spain have no fresh injury concerns following their 2-1 victory over Norway on Saturday, though ?Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez was called up by Luis Enrique to replace Fabian Ruiz ahead of the opening clash, with the ?Napoli star suffering from illness.

Enrique made a number of bold selections ahead of the latest round of international fixtures, with star names such as Koke, Thiago and Isco among those left out of the squad altogether.


Predicted Lineups

Malta? Bonello; Borg, Caruana, Zerafa, Mbong; Muscat, Guillaumier, Fenech; Corbalan, Nwoko, Mifsud?
?Spain ?De Gea; Roberto, Ramos, Martinez, Alba; Ceballos, Busquets, Saul; Rodrigo, Morata, Asensio

Head to Head Record

The two sides have met seven ?times previously and, unsurprisingly, Spain have won on every occasion.

The last encounter between the two came in February 1997, when Spain won 4-0 and goals from Pep Guardiola, Pizzi and an Alfonzo brace secured a comfortable victory for La Roja.

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September 1963 saw the first meeting between the two nations in the Mediterranean Games. Spain beat Malta emphatically on that occasion, as a Ramon Moreno Grosso hat-trick inspired an 8-0 win for the Spaniards.


Recent Form

Malta have responded well to a crushing 5-0 defeat to Kosovo in the Nations League in November, as Ray Farrugia’s side earned a 1-1 draw against Faroe Islands in their last outing in the competition, before claiming a 2-1 victory when the sides met again on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Spain have also had to bounce back from a disappointing defeat in the final game of their Nations League campaign in November, when they were beaten 2-1 by World Cup finalists Croatia.


Spain also suffered defeat to England in the Nations League, but have since responded with a 1-0 victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina? in November and a 2-1 success over Norway on Saturday in Enrique’s side’s first outing of 2019 to open their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

Here is a look at how each team has fared in their last five matches:
?

Malta? Spain?
?Malta 2-1 Faroe Islands
(23/03/19) 
?Spain 2-1 Norway
(23/03/19)
?Malta 1-1 Faroe Islands
(20/11/18)
?Spain 1-0 Bosnia and Herzegovina
(18/11/18)
?Malta 0-5 Kosovo
(17/11/18)
?Croatia 3-2 Spain
(15/11/18)
?Azerbaijan 1-1 Malta
(14/10/18)
?Spain 2-3 England
(15/10/18)
?Kosovo 3-1 Malta
(11/10/18)
?Wales 1-4 Spain
(11/10/18)

Prediction

Spain may not be at their free-flowing best under Luis Enrique quite yet, having required a penalty from ?Sergio Ramos to see them over the line with victory against Norway last time out, but La Roja are still a side bursting with quality all over the pitch.

The likes of Inigo Martinez, Dani Ceballos and Marco Asensio have added a freshness to the side alongside more seasoned campaigners such as Ramos and Sergio Busquets, and Enriques’ side appears both flexible and well-balanced.

Sergio Ramos

Emphatic dominance may no longer be the way of their game as was the case during the previous golden era, star-studded with Xavi, Iniesta and co, ?but Spain have found a revised means of winning with efficiency under Enrique and they should have too much quality for Malta.

Prediction: Malta 0-4 Spain

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