Kosovo's coach Bernard Challandes has called his players for maximum concentration as they face Malta in their penultimate UEFA Nations League commitment at the National Stadium in Ta' Qali, today (kick-off: 6pm). 

Challandes' clan are leading Group D3 with eight points after four games, two ahead of second place Azerbaijan.

A victory against Malta would mean that when they host the Azeri side next Tuesday, a point would be enough to see them through, unless Azerbaijan fail to win today which would see Kosovo seal promotion to Group C. 

"We are going to begin the final sprint of this competition and we are in a solid position," Challandes told a news conference, on Friday.

"However, these games will be tough, starting from Malta, and it won't be easy to hold on to the first spot."

Asked about Malta's threat, Challandes underlined the resilience that Ray Farrugia's clan showed against Azerbaijan, in Baku.

Bernard Challandes (right) during the news conference. Photo: Matthew MirabelliBernard Challandes (right) during the news conference. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

"I was really impressed with Malta's display in Baku," Kosovo's coach explained.

"I did not think that they were capable of a good result given their result against us and the fact they had to travel to a distant country."

The Swiss-born coach introduced some new faces in his side including Arinajet Muriqi, who is Manchester City's second goalkeeper and has selected Kosovo over Montenegro. 

While he did not give any hints about the starting XI, Challandes hailed Muriqi's commitment and talent.

"He is a goalkeeper with huge potential," Challandes underlined.

"Obviously, if he did not have any potential he would not form part of the Manchester City because we all know that Pep Guardiola always selects players with huge skill and structure."


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