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Balzan without Serbian trio for tricky Floriana test
Feb 8, 2018
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BOV Premier League

Saturday’s clash between leaders Balzan and Euro hopefuls Floriana at the National Stadium is the highlight of matchday 19 of the BOV Premier League which kicks off on Friday with three fixtures.

Balzan maintained their three-point lead over Valletta after their direct clash last weekend ended goalless.


The draw left things as they were at the top but the in-form Birkirkara have closed in on the leading duo as they joined Gżira United in third place on 34 points.


Balzan coach Marko Micovic must watch the game against Floriana from the stands after receiving a one-match touchline ban. He can’t field his strongest formation as Serbian duo Uros Ljubomirac and Milos Lepovic are suspended.


They were sent off in the dying stages of the game against Valletta.


The Greens, buoyed by their 1-0 win over Ħamrun Spartans, are likely to view this match as an opportunity to get back in the mix for a top-three position.


Midfielder Maurizio Vella is out for Floriana as he serves the second of a three-match ban.


The first-round match between Balzan and Floriana ended one-all.


Ħamrun Spartans find themselves in need of a boost after going four league matches without a win. They face Gżira United at the Tedesco Stadium on Saturday.


Gżira also need the points to maintain their Euro challenge. They will take courage from their 4-0 victory over the Spartans in the first round.


Thiago Espindola de Paula is suspended for the Spartans.  




Another interesting encounter is that between Birkirkara and Sliema Wanderers.


Birkirkara are the team of the moment after winning seven matches in a row.


They are level with Gżira on 34 points, seven off the top.


Sliema Wanderers are a further five points adrift of Birkirkara. The Blues beat Birkirkara 3-0 in the first round but this match is likely to be a different affair as the Stripes have improved by leaps and bounds under coach Paul Zammit.


Zammit welcomes back Edward Herrera.


Valletta will be seeking to keep the pressure on Balzan when they face bottom side Lija Athletic at the Hibs Stadium on Friday (6pm).


Defender Steve Borg returns from suspension for Valletta while Lija welcome back Lee Joe Schembri.
Valletta beat Lija 4-2 in the first round.


St Andrews, who have taken five points from their last three matches, face Mosta who had beaten the Saints 1-0 in the first round. The match will be played on Saturday at the Tedesco Stadium.


Tarxien Rainbows, who edged Naxxar 2-1 in the first round, will be without Sean Cipriott for their clash with Naxxar Lions.


Hibernians face Senglea Athletic on Friday night in a clash between two clubs from the south.


Midfielder Bjorn Kristensen is suspended for the Paolites but defender Rodolfo Soares is set to return.


Senglea will be without Matias Nicolas Garcia, suspended, but Josuel Spiteri returns after serving a one-match ban.


The first-round encounter ended 1-0 in favour of Hibs.

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