Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Upbeat Floriana in tough clash with resurgent Birkirkara
Dec 16, 2017
Posted in:
General
Leagues

On a high after their BOV Super Cup success, Floriana will be going all out to keep their league campaign on track when they face Birkirkara at the National Stadium on Sunday.


This weekend’s seven-match programme is the last before the Christmas recess with the BOV Premier League then resuming in January.

 

The clash between Floriana and Birkirkara is one of the top fixtures this weekend.

 

Both teams will be going all out to gain the three points with Floriana looking to stay in the title mix while Birkirkara will be aiming to maintain their resurgence.

 

Floriana own 26 points, just four behind leaders Balzan and one behind Valletta and Gżira.

 

The Greens appear to have come through a turbulent period following the resignation of their coach Giovanni Tedesco.

 

After back-to-back defeats, they thrashed Lija Athletic 6-0 and then beat Hibernians 1-0 on the BOV Super Cup final, under the guidance of new coach Nicolas Chiesa.

 

Birkirkara have lost six of their 13 games so far but they have shown signs of improvement in recent weeks. In their last outing, they beat Ħamrun Spartans 1-0.

 

Mosta face Valletta this week who need to pull up their socks after losing an important game against Gżira.

 

The Whites share second place with Gżira on 27 points. Defender Steve Borg will be missing for Valletta after receiving a two-match suspension following a straight red card in the dying minutes of the game against Gżira.

 

In the meantime, Ekani Rodriguez and Kurt Magro are back in the frame for Mosta but Daniele Biondo and Edison Bilboa Zarate are out. Biondo was sent off during their 1-1 draw against Sliema Wanderers while Zarate collected four yellow cards.

 

Gżira United have a winnable fixture on paper as they face bottom-of-the-table team Lija Athletic.

 

The Maroons are in upbeat mood after their win over Valletta.

 

Coach Darren Abdilla welcomes back Clifford Gatt Baldacchino but Spanish midfielder Moises Avila Perez is out due to suspension.

 

Lija Athletic are finding the going tough in the BOV Premier League. They are still counting the cost of their 6-0 defeat to Floriana as Ousmane Sidibe and Clinch McAllister received a one-match ban.

 

Nigerian striker Abubaker Bello Osagie returns from suspension for Lija whose coach Joseph Galea has served his two-match touchline ban.

 

In other games, Senglea Athletic, who will be without Caseres, play Sliema Wanderers while Balzan face Naxxar Lions.

 

Balzan are now widely regarded among the leading title contenders after winning their last six games. They are unlikely to underestimate Naxxar Lions who will be looking to bounce back from their 2-1 upset to Senglea.

 

Naxxar coach Oliver Spiteri can bank on goalkeeper Christoph Nicht who has served his two-match suspension.

 

Ħamrun Spartans, who welcome back Lydon Micallef, face Tarxien Rainbows while champions Hibernians play against beleaguered St Andrews.

 

Hibs are under pressure to get their act together after a dismal week in which they lost 1-0 to title rivals Balzan and then suffered a 1-0 defeat to Floriana in the BOV Super Cup on Wednesday.

 

Andrews will have Travis Blagrove missing after he was dismissed in the 3-2 defeat to Tarxien but welcome back Ricardo Martin.

 

FIRST ROUND RESULTS

 

Sliema Wanderers vs Senglea Athletic 2-2
Valletta vs Mosta 1-0
Balzan vs Naxxar Lions 2-0
Tarxien Rainbows vs Ħamrun Spartans 1-4
Hibernians vs St Andrews 4-0
Birkirkara vs Floriana 1-1
Lija Athletic vs Gżira United 0-4

  

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