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NEWS:
Focus back on BOV Premier League – Matchday 7 preview
Oct 18, 2019
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BOV Premier League
PHOTO: Joe Borg/MFA
PHOTO: Joe Borg/MFA

  • PHOTO: Joe Borg/MFA
  • PHOTO: Stephen Gatt

The attention of local football enthusiasts shifts to domestic matters this weekend as the 2019-20 BOV Premier League returns with another interesting seven-match programme.


Mosta vs Sta Lucia (Friday – Centenary Stadium, 18.00)

 

Mosta and Sta Lucia kick off Matchday 7 as they face each other in the weekend’s opening fixture.

 

The two teams had mixed results before the international break. A fine brace from American striker Nikita Kotlov propelled Mosta to a 2-0 win over Ħamrun Spartans while Santa Lucia could not go beyond a goalless draw with Senglea Athletic.

 

Both Mosta and Santa Lucia will fancy their chances of taking the three points from their direct clash, knowing that every point counts in this erstwhile balanced championship.

 

Gabriel Mentz Bohrer is suspended for Santa Lucia.

 

Senglea Athletic vs Sliema Wanderers (Friday – Centenary Stadium, 20.15).

 

Sliema Wanderers are in an unfamiliar lowly position in the standings after a rather disappointing start to the season.

 

Their 1-0 defeat to Sirens left them with five points from six matches. Coach Alfonso Greco will have taken advantage of the international break to work onthe team’s shortcomings and raise their performance level.

 

Senegelase striker Seydou Sow is out for the Blues as he will serve a one-match ban following his red card against Sirens.

 

Senglea Athletic will also be looking to get back to winning ways after going three matches without a win. Leighton Grech is set to return for the Yellow-Reds.

 

Sirens vs Floriana (Saturday – Centenary Stadium, 15.00)

 

The clash between Sirens and Floriana promises to be an interesting affair as both teams have had a very promising start to the season, to the extent that they are occupying the leading two positions in the standings.

 

Led by coach Stephen D’Amato, Sirens are on a high after back-to-back wins over Santa Lucia and Sliema Wanderers lifted them to second place on 13 points, one behind Floriana.

 

D’Amato has two regular players missing for this match – defender Adrian Borg and forward Emmanuel Okoye, both suspended after collecting four yellow cards.

 

The Greens, led by Italian coach Enzo Potenza, are still unbeaten, having won four and drawn two of their opening six matches for a total of 14 points.

 

Their status as early leaders of the BOV Premier League has raised hopes among their fans of a sustained challenge for the title.

 

Birkirkara vs Gżira United (Saturday – Centenary Stadium, 17.15)

 

One of the most attractive fixtures of matchday 7 is the clash between Birkirkara and Gżira United, two clubs that began the season with lofty ambitions of challenging for the positions.

 

Birkirkara and Gżira United took a while to get going but both claimed an important win in their last matches with the Stripes edging Hibernians 1-0 thanks to Federico Falcone’s goal and Gżira United beating champions Valletta 3-1 thanks to Jefferson’s brace.

 

The Maroons, led by Giovanni Tedesco, will be looking to make it three wins in a row while Birkirkara, with Dutch coach Andre Paus at the helm, are eyeing back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

 

Gudja United vs Valletta (Sunday – Centenary Stadium, 15.00)

 

Champions Valletta will be going all out to bounce back from their 3-1 setback against Gżira United, their second defeat in six matches.

 

They will face newly-promoted Gudja United who have made life difficult for all the teams they have met so far but are still looking for their first victory in the top division.

 

Valletta coach Darren Abdilla is still hindered by the injury-related absence of Argentine midfielder Santiago Malano.

 

The champions are in a mid-table position with eight points while Gudja have four.

 

Tarxen Rainbows vs Balzan (Sunday – Centenary Stadium, 17.15)

 

Tarxien Rainbows are the only team without a point after six matches while Balzan are 10th with seven points.

 

Balzan are coming from a 1-0 victory over Gudja United while Tarxien Rainbows went down 2-1 to leaders Floriana.

 

Both teams are expected to go out for the three points on Sunday with Balzan looking to climb up the table and Tarxien eager to kickstart their disappointing season by winning their first match.

 

Hibernians vs Ħamrun Spartans (Monday – Centenary Stadium, 19.00)

 

Matchday 7 concludes with the enticing encounter between Hibernians and Ħamrun Spartans.

 

Both teams will be striving to bounce back after the Paolites lost 1-0 to Birkirkara before the international break and the Spartans suffered their first defeat of the season after going down 2-0 to Mosta.

 

Hibernians, in fifth place on 10 points, will be without versatile winger Joseph Mbong, suspended.

 

Ħamrun, third in the standings on 11 points, are expected to be bolstered by the return of Italian midfielder Marco Criaco.

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