O'Neill could award first caps
Striker Kyle Lafferty, who is suspended for the next World Cup qualifier against Russia, has been left out so in-form Inverness striker Billy McKay will hope to be given a chance up front after being included.
Tranmere forward Adam McGurk has been called up for the first time while 18-year-old Liverpool winger Ryan McLaughlin and Hull defender Alex Bruce, who has previously played for the Republic of Ireland, will be hoping to win their first caps.
Northern Ireland squad to face Malta in friendly at Ta'qali National Stadium on February 6: R Carroll (Olympiacos), A Mannus (St Johnstone), T Carson (Bury), A Hughes (Fulham), R McGivern (Manchester City, on loan at Hibernian), J Evans (Man Utd), C Cathcart ( Blackpool), G McAuley ( West Brom).
A Bruce (Hull), D Lafferty ( Burnley), S Davis (captain, Southampton), O Norwood ( Huddersfield), C Evans (Hull), N McGinn ( Aberdeen), C Brunt (West Brom), S Ferguson (Newcastle), R McLaughlin (Liverpool), D Shiels ( Rangers), W Grigg ( Walsall), J Ward (Derby), B McKay (Inverness), P McCourt (Celtic), A McGurk (Tranmere).