Watch: Kosovo players geared up for Malta game

Watch: Kosovo players geared up for Malta game

Coach Challandes and captain Ujkani eyeing victory

Video: Gianluca Lia

Kosovo coach Bernard Challandes and captain Samir Ujkani have called their side to put on a commanding showing in front of their fans to claim the spoils against Malta, as the two countries face off on Thursday night, at the Fadil Vokrri stadium in Prishtina (kick-off: 8.45pm). 

Challandes, former coach of Armenia, did not give any hint regarding his starting line-up, however, he did underline the importance of having the likes of Valon Berisha in his squad because it will help him to have a deeper squad, given they will travel to the Faroe Islands after Thursday's tie.

"I am happy with my current squad because it allows me to have more options and I can manage my team better ahead of this double-header against Malta and the Faroe Islands," Challandes told a news conference at the stadium.

Asked about what type of risks Malta pose to Kosovo, Challandes said that they have analysed Ray Farrugia's side and he highlighted the team's organisation and discipline as the two main traits of the Maltese side.

"We saw the game against Azerbaijan and I have to say that Malta were the best team on the field," he explained.

"I expect them to produce the same type of performance against us - staying compact and catch us on the break with their vertical plays, so it is vital that we take care of the ball and focus a lot on preventive marking so we avoid any type of risks."

Meanwhile, skipper Ujkani, who is currently on the books of Cayzur Rizespor of Turkey, is eager to step on the field and play in front of a sold-out stadium.

"We always want to play for our fans because they have always been with us, even when we used to play just friendly matches," he said.

Ujkani, formerly of Palermo and who has represented Albania in the past, is yet to concede a goal in this Nations League campaign. However, he is focusing on just the win rather on preserving his clean sheet record.

"I would like not to concede a goal against Malta, but the most important thing is that we keep our focus and aim to win - if we concede a goal, we just need to score one more and take all three points," Ujkani said.

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