Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Valletta, Floriana relish boost on Super Sunday
Mar 30, 2017
Posted in:
General
Leagues
BOV Premier League
Fanzone
Valletta coach Paul Zammit (left) shakes hands with Floriana's Giovanni Tedesco. Photo: Joe Borg/MFA
Valletta coach Paul Zammit (left) shakes hands with Floriana's Giovanni Tedesco. Photo: Joe Borg/MFA

  • Valletta coach Paul Zammit (left) shakes hands with Floriana's Giovanni Tedesco. Photo: Joe Borg/MFA

With Valletta bidding to retain the BOV Premier League title and Floriana pushing for a top-three spot, their derby clash on Super Sunday (kick-off 6pm) has taken on added significance. Valletta need a win to keep their title challenge on track but Floriana are also eyeing the three points not only to stay in the hunt for a top-three finish but also to pep up their form ahead of the FA Trophy semi-finals.



Beyond the impact the result would have on their positions in the standings, Valletta and Floriana know only too well that a victory in the derby would provide a massive psychological tonic for their players and fans.

 

Valletta are third in the standings, three points behind leaders Hibernians and one adrift of Balzan with the latter two facing each other in Sunday’s opening game at the National Stadium. Fourth spot is occupied by Floriana who are seven points behind Valletta with seven games remaining.

 

Giovanni Tedesco, the Floriana coach, has a lot of respect for Valletta.

 

“We know that we are facing a strong team,” Tedesco told a news conference earlier at the National Stadium today.

 

“They have several national team players and a coach who, in Malta, has won practically everything. About Valletta, there is very little to say in this aspect.

 

“We are aware that this is a very important game which, for us, could mean a place in Europe. Therefore, the motivation is very high.

 

“Just as we have a lot of respect for Valletta, we also believe in our strength and confident that we can have a good game.”

 

Valletta coach Paul Zammit acknowledged the importance of Sunday’s derby in this crucial phase of the season.

 

“From our side, we know that, the closer we get to the end of the champions, the significance and weight of the games rise,” Zammit said.

 

“We are a team that this season, despite encountering a lot of difficulties and a lot of hard work, especially by the players, we are still challenging for the principal honour.”

 

CHIESA: READY FOR THE CHALLENGE

Floriana captain Nicolas Chiesa said: “Certainly it’s an important afternoon for Maltese football and the sporting public. These are the kind of nice games that we, the players, want to be involved in.

 

“We are preparing for the game in the right way and proud to have been given the opportunity to play important games. We will continue on our league path and we still have seven finals to play... we have the first one in a couple of days and we are ready to face this challenge.”

 

BORG: EVERY GAME CRUCIAL

Valletta defender Steve Borg said: “Sunday’s game is very important. After the win over Balzan, we believe more that we can win the championship but it’s not just about winning the game against Floriana.

 

“If we win against Floriana but lose against other teams... that wouldn’t be a step forward from us. Every game has its story. We need to take it step-by-step and, before every fixture, remind ourselves that we can’t afford to slip up.”

 

Zammit has a few injury concerns ahead of Sunday’s game as defender Ryan Camilleri suffered a shoulder injury in Malta’s 3-1 defeat to Slovakia on Sunday and midfielder Rowen Muscat is in the final stages of his rehabilitation from an adductor problem.

 

For his part, Floriana coach Tedesco is sure to be without left-back Jurgen Pisani, who picked up a knee injury while training with the national squad, and Italian midfielder Maurizio Vella, injured. Defender Andrè Scicluna is suspended.

 

According to Tedesco, Pisani had an MRI scan and the early indications are that he has injured the meniscus.

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