Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Floriana, Valletta look to atone for opening-day defeats
Aug 24, 2018
Posted in:
General
Leagues
BOV Premier League
Photo: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
Photo: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

  • Photo: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
  • Photo: Joe Borg/MFA
  • Photo: Joe Borg/MFA
  • Photo: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

Four rivals will be involved in direct clashes on Matchday 2 of the BOV Premier League as Floriana revive their Old Firm rivalry with Sliema Wanderers on Friday while Hibernians face Valletta on Saturday.


Floriana vs Sliema Wanderers (Friday – National Stadium, 7pm)


This match between Floriana and Sliema Wanderers, better known as the Old Firm Derby, used to attract thousands of fans in the past.

 

Although it has lost some of its previous allure, it still generates a lot of interest among the followers of these two clubs.

 

Only a victory will satisfy Floriana as they will be looking to bounce back from their 2-0 defeat to Ħamrun Spartans in their opener.

 

The Greens will face a team in high spirits after Sliema started their league campaign with a 3-0 win over champions Valletta.

 

Both teams are expected to field their best formation.

 

This will be the 78th encounter between the two teams at the National Stadium with the Wanderers leading with 36 wins against Floriana’s 23.

 

Valletta vs Hibernians – (Saturday – National Stadium, 8.30pm)

 

Champions Valletta need to forget the disappointment of their opening defeat against Sliema Wanderers and regroup ahead of their match against Hibernians. The latter are coming from a narrow 2-1 win over newly-promoted team Pietà Hotspurs.

 

This promises to be a balanced encounter, meaning that the two teams have little margin for error.

 

Valletta coach Danilo Doncic will surely demand a more robust performance from his defence after the Citizens conceded three goals in their first match… last season they only suffered 11 goals in total.

 

The new players at Hibernians need more time to adapt to Maltese football but, on the positive side, they showed good technical skills.

 

This will be the 140th meeting between these two heavyweights at the National Stadium with Valletta winning 46 times while Hibs prevailed in 33 games.

 

Senglea A. v Mosta – (Friday – Victor Tedesco Stadium, 6.30pm)

 

This will be the third encounter between Senglea and Mosta in the top division. Their objective is to retain their status after both managed to survive last season. 

 

Both teams will be looking to get their first points on board.

 

In their opening league match – a 1-0 defeat to Qormi, Senglea set a new milestone as all their starting players were making their first appearance for the club in the top division. The Yellow-Reds will be playing their 90th game in the Premier League and aiming for their 17th win overall.

 

Mosta coach Enrico Piccione will be seeking his first win after six losses in his last six matches in charge, dating back to season 2013/14.

 

The Blues went down 3-1 to St Andrews last weekend.

 

St Andrews vs Tarxien Rainbows – (Friday – Victor Tedesco Stadium, 8.45pm)


After identical 4-0 losses to Birkirkara (2016/17) and Hibernians (2017/18) on the first day of the season, St Andrews began their league campaign with an impressive 3-1 victory over Mosta, with Jamaican striker Kevaughn Atkinson stealing the show with a hat-trick.

 

Defender Adrian Borg is missing for this game after being sent off against Mosta.

 

Tarxien Rainbows are eyeing their first positive result to boost their spirits in what promises to be another tough season.

 

After losing 4-1 to Gżira United in their opening match, Tarxien coach José Borg will be looking for an improved effort from his players.

 

Gżira United vs Ħamrun Spartans – (Saturday – National Stadium, 6.30pm)


This is also another intriguing encounter on match day two as it brings together two upbeat teams who left a very positive impression in their opening outings

 

While the Spartans had eight newcomers in their 2-0 victory over Floriana, the Maroons handed a debut to three players.

 

Giovanni Tedesco and Darren Abdilla, the coaches of Ħamrun Spartans and Gżira United respectively, are unlikely to make drastic changes to their line-ups.

 

This will be the 20th meeting between the two teams in top division with the Maroons enjoying 10 wins.

 

Pietà Hotspurs v Birkirkara – (Saturday – Victor Tedesco Stadium, 6.30pm)

 

After facing Hibernians on match day one, Pietà Hotpurs have another difficult hurdle when they meet Birkirkara who are considered as potential challengers for the title.

 

The Stripes are coming from a 1-0 victory over Balzan, thanks to a penalty converted by Jake Grech.

 

Pietà will be without Nigerian Irimiya Ishaya Jalo who was red-carded in the defeat against Hibernians.

 

Nevertheless, the Hotspurs can still offer a worthy challenge as they look to produce a surprise.

 

Balzan v Qormi – (Saturday – Victor Tedesco Stadium, 8.45pm)


Balzan face Qormi in the last game of the matchday two.

 

While Qormi are on a high after their narrow 1-0 win over Senglea Athletic, Balzan are coming from a 1-0 defeat to Birkirkara.

 

Balzan were a shadow of the team that played so well in this season’s Europa League. Coach Marko Micovic will have to make do without Uruguayan wing-back Ricardo Correa who was dismissed for violent conduct in the dying stages of the Birkirkara defeat. Correa was handed a three-match ban.

 

Qormi, who made use of 10 Maltese players in their win over Senglea Athletic, are expected to retain the same formation.

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