Italy vs. Malta: Live Stream, TV Info and Preview for 2014 World Cup Qualifier

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 9, 2012

MEDOLLA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 09:  Pablo Daniel Osvaldo of Italy during a training session on September 9, 2012 in Medolla, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Soccer giants Italy will have a chance to bounce back from a disappointing start to their World Cup qualifying stage when they face Malta Tuesday afternoon.

The Italians opened up the qualifiers with a 2-2 draw against Bulgaria, a quite embarrassing scoreline given their pedigree and history. Though they were undoubtedly the best team on the pitch, the Bulgarians fought back and gained a favorable outcome for their side.

Fortunately for Italy, their next opponent is the small island country of Malta. The Maltans opened up their qualifying stage with a 1-0 loss to Armenia, who now lead Group B heading into the second game.

Here's everything you need to know for this international showdown.


Where: Modena, Italy


When: Tuesday, Sept.11, 2:45 p.m. ET


Watch: RAI Uno (Italy); ESPN (Australia)


Live Stream: ESPN3


Italy's Roster (via ESPN FC):

Goalkeepers: Buffon (Juventus), De Sanctis (Napoli), Sirigu (Paris St. Germain), Viviano (Fiorentina)

Defenders: Astori (Cagliari), Balzaretti (Roma), Barzagli (Juventus), Bonucci (Juventus), Cassani (Fiorentina), Maggio (Napoli), Ogbonna (Torino)

Midfielders: De Rossi (Roma), Diamanti (Bologna), Giaccherini (Juventus), Marchisio (Juventus), Nocerino (Milan), Pirlo (Juventus), Poli (Sampdoria), Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain)

Forwards: Borini (Liverpool), Destro (Roma), Giovinco (Juventus), Insigne (Napoli), Osvaldo (Roma), Pazzini (Milan)


Malta's Roster (via Malta National Team):

Goalkeepers: Henry Bonello, Justin Haber, Andrew Hogg

Defenders: Andrei Agius, Steve Borg, Roderick Briffa, Ryan Camilleri, Jonathan Caruana, Luke Dimech, Clayton Failla, Alex Muscat, Manny Muscat, Joseph Zerafa

Midfielders: Edmond Agius, Shaun Bajada, Andrew Cohen, Dyson Falzon, Paul Fenech, Ryan Fenech, John Hutchinson, Bjorn Kristensen, John Mintoff, Gareth Sciberras

Forwards: Etienne  Barbara, Daniel Bogdanovic, Cleaven Frendo, Michael Mifsud, Andre Schembri



If Italy's national team has any amount of inspiration and interest in this match, they should have no trouble notching four or five goals and cruising to victory.

However, it's obvious that they were far from inspired against Bulgaria, and playing a country such as Malta isn't exactly the type of showdown that pumps you up if you're an Italian footballer.

What they have to remember is that they'll be in grave danger of missing the World Cup altogether if they don't pull themselves together and win the easy games. Malta only let up one goal in their opening-round loss to Armenia, so they could frustrate the Italians by dropping back and putting all of their efforts into keeping the score blank. 

When it comes down to it, Italy has mounds and mounds of talent that Malta simply won't be able to keep up with. Expect the Euro 2012 runner-up to easily notch their first win of the World Cup qualifying stage.