Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Rivals Hibernians and Valletta in direct clash
Nov 3, 2017
Posted in:
General
Leagues
BOV Premier League

The clash between Hibernians, the defending champions, and rivals Valletta is indubitably the plum fixture of Matchday 10 of the 2017/18 BOV Premier League.


The two contenders go head to head at the National Stadium on Sunday at 4pm.

 

Valletta are now the sole leaders of BOV Premier League after profiting from Gżira United’s recent hiccups.

 

The Citizens have 22 points after nine matches, five more than Hibernians who bounced back from their defeat against Sliema Wanderers with a 3-0 win over Lija.

 

Hibernians are in fifth place, level with Floriana and Sliema on 17 points.

 

Both teams are expected to go out for the three points, knowing that a win from this direct encounter would not only boost their position in the standings but also strengthen their belief that they can go all the way.

 

The two-round format of the BOV Premier League means that teams have less margin for error as a poor run of results may ruin their chances.

 

Also this weekend, Balzan take on Birkirkara in another intriguing match.

 

Going by recent form, Balzan appear to have an edge on Birkirkara but the latter have shown signs of improvement in their recent outings.

 

Balzan are coming from an impressive 5-0 victory over Mosta to consolidate third place on 18 points while Birkirkara beat Tarxien Rainbows 3-1 for their second win in a row.

 

Gżira United, now second behind Valletta, will be looking to get back to winning ways after their defeat to Balzan and the draw against Senglea Athletic.

 

This weekend, the Maroons face Mosta who welcome back Ivan Maric who was suspended for the Balzan game but have lost Davide Mansi, suspended.

 

Darren Abdilla, the Gżira United coach, is hampered by the absence of Amadou Samb, the leading scorer in the BOV Premier League.

 

Samb must serve a one-match ban but, on the positive side, Abdilla can bank on Samba Tounkara who returns from suspension.

 

BUOYANT BLUES


Sliema Wanderers will be looking to maintain their positive run when they meet the struggling St Andrews.

 

Successive wins over Birkirkara, Hibernians and Ħamrun Spartans have lifted the Blues into the upper rungs of the table and restore belief among their fans that they can challenge for a top-four position.

 

St Andrews are second from bottom in the table after losing their last three matches.

 

They will be without three players for their clash with Sliema as Matthew Gauci, Enmy Pena Beltre and Kyle Butler are all suspended.

 

Floriana and Senglea Athletic set the ball rolling as they meet in the weekend’s opening match on Friday evening at the Centenary Stadium.

 

Coach Giovanni Tedesco must watch the match from the stands after receiving a two-match touchline ban following his dismissal in the hard-earned 2-1 victory over Naxxar Lions.

 

Midfielder Maurizio Vella is also suspended for Floriana but they welcome back from suspension Henrique Ricciardi Oyama.

 

Senglea come into this match on a high after grabbing a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw againsgħt Gżira United last Friday.
Ivan Edgardo Paz is out for the Yellow-Reds as he will serve the second of a three-match ban.

 

SPARTANS MEET LIONS


On Saturday, Ħamrun Spartans and Naxxar Lions will be seeking to bounce back from defeats when they meey at the Tedesco Stadium.

 

Ħamrun coach Jacques Scerri will have duo Guilherme de Castro and Tiago Souza missing for this game.
Goalkeeper Omar Borg is out for Naxxar Lions after he was sent off from the bench.

 

Tarxien Rainbows take on bottom side Lija Athletic at the Centenary Stadium in a match both teams need to win to boost their hopes of avoiding relegation.

 

Lija are boosted by the return from suspension of Luke Bonnici and Daniel Scerri.

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