Malta Football Association
Early pace-setters Gżira face Hibs test
Sep 15, 2017
Posted in:
BOV Premier League
Photo: Paul Zammit Cutajar/MFA
Photo: Paul Zammit Cutajar/MFA

  • Photo: Paul Zammit Cutajar/MFA
  • Photo: Joe Borg/MFA
  • Photo: Joe Borg/MFA
  • Photo: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

Gżira United, the early pacesetters of the 2017/18 BOV Premier League, face their sternest test so far as they take on champions Hibernians on Saturday.

The Maroons are the only team with maximum points after winning their opening three games while Hibernians are second on seven points after being held to a 1-1 draw by Floriana in their last league outing.


No doubt, Gżira, who have assembled a very competitive squad since being promoted to the top flight at the end of season 2015-16, will be looking at their encounter with the Paolites as an opportunity to show that their strong start to the season is no fluke.


In addition to their lofty position in the embryonic standings, Gżira also have the best scorer in the league so far as Amadou Samb tops the scoring charts with four goals.


Gżira, led by coach Darren Abdilla, are expected to be at full strength while Hibs could have Johann Bezzina back in the fray after the midfielder recovered from injury.


Another intriguing fixture this weekend is the clash between Valletta and Sliema Wanderers.


The Citizens, level with Hibs in second place on seven points, will be looking to make amends for their goalless draw against Naxxar Lions.


Coach Zoran Popovic will be looking to his strikers to provide the firepower which has been missing in the team’s opening three matches.


Italian midfielder Claudio Pani returns from suspension for Valletta.


For their part, Sliema Wanderers will be seeking to build on their solid display in the goalless draw against Balzan.


Balzan, who have yet to show their best form this season, have another tricky test as they meet Ħamrun Spartans buoyed by their 2-1 victory over St Andrews last weekend.


Floriana, who have five points from three games, take on St Andrews in this weekend’s opening game, being played this evening (Friday) at the Centenarty Stadium.


Defender James Baldacchino is expected to return for the Greens.


Mark Glumac will make his debut as St Andrews coach after replacing his fellow Serbian countryman Danilo Doncic.


In other games, Naxxar Lions and Lija Athletic, both promoted from Division One last season, will be aiming for their first win of the season while Senglea Athletic, the other promoted side, take on Birkirkara who returned to winning ways with a 2-0 defeat of Mosta last weekend.


Mosta, who will be without captain Kurt Magro, suspended, meet strugglers Tarxien Rainbows in Sunday’s first match at the National Stadium.

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