Malta Football Association
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Leaders Gżira take on Birkirkara in top clash – Preview
Sep 28, 2018
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BOV Premier League

Hibernians vs St Andrews – (Friday – Victor Tedesco Stadium, 6pm)

 

Hibernians take on St Andrews in a clash between two teams who will be looking to bounce back from defeat.
  


There is some pressure on Hibs to get back to winning ways after back-to-back defeats to Floriana and Gżira United.

 

The team will be led from the bench by assistant coach Ryan Pulis since head coach Stefano Sanderra was handed a one-match touchline ban after being sent off during their 3-2 loss to Gżira United.

 

For their part, St Andrews are coming from a 2-0 defeat by Sliema Wanderers. They welcome back Amoy Brown from suspension.

 

Qormi vs Floriana – (Friday – National Stadium, 7pm)


With three defeats in their opening three matches, Floriana also find themselves badly needing the points to kickstart their season.

 

They meet Qormi who suffered a 6-0 defeat at the hands of Valletta in their last outing.

 

Floriana will be without the suspended Alex Cini, sent off in the 2-0 defeat against Birkirkara for two yellow cards.

 

Qormi coach Brian Spiteri is expected to make changes to the first XI following the team’s tame performance against Valletta.

 

Senglea Athletic vs Valletta – (Friday – Victor Tedesco Stadium, 8.15pm)


After a poor start to the season, champions Valletta appear to be back on track after beating rivals Birkirkara (3-0) and Qormi (6-0) in their last two outings.

 

The Whites face bottom side Senglea Athletic who earned their first point of the season last weekend in a 1-1 draw against Pietà Hotspurs.

 

Coach Danilo Doncic is expected to field the same formation with a fearsome attack led by Bojan Kaljevic, Matteo Piciollo and Mario Fontanella.

 

Senglea Athletic will probably adopt a prudent approach as they look to gain something from this difficult clash with the champions.

 

Balzan vs Pietà Hotspurs – (Saturday - Victor Tedesco Stadium – 3.00 pm)


Balzan start as favourites to extend their positive run when they meet Pietà Hotspurs with Marko Micovic's team looking to register their fourth consecutive win this season.

 

The Reds are coming from a 3-1 win over Mosta.

 

Newly-promoted Pietà Hotspurs are coming from a 1-1 draw against Senglea Athletic.

 

Milos Lepovic is suspended for Balzan after collecting his fourth yellow card during the last match.

 

Uruguayan Ricardo Correa is back for Balzan after serving a three-match ban.

 

Ghanaian Gabriel Mensah is expected to return for Pietà after missing the last game.

 

Mosta vs Ħamrun Spartans – (Saurday – Victor Tedesco Stadium, 5.15pm)

 

Both Mosta and Ħamrun Spartans are coming from a defeat.

 

After a very bright start, Ħamrun Spartans were on the receiving end of an upset as they lost 2-1 against Tarxien Rainbows who have upped their game in the last weeks.

 

Prior to last Saturday’s defeat, the Spartans had not conceded a goal.

 

Coach Giovanni Tedesco is expected to field his best formation.

 

Mosta, who went down 3-1 against Balzan, welcome back James Brincat who was one of their scorers in their 3-1 win over Tarxien Rainbows.

 

Sliema Wanderers v Tarxien Rainbows – (Sunday – National Stadium, 3pm)

 

Sliema Wanderers face Tarxien Rainbows whose morale is sky-high after their odd-defying win over Ħamrun Spartans.

 

The Wanderers, who beat St Andrews 2-0 in their last outing, will surely not underestimate their opponents who have one of the most in-form strikers in the BOV Premier League in Italian Michele Paolucci.

 

Sliema coach John Buttigieg will be without Ryan Fenech, suspended.

 

Birkirkara v Gżira United – (Sunday – National Stadium, 5pm)


The game between Birkirkara and Gżira United is the most-awaited fixture of Matchday 5.

 

Both teams head into this clash in high spirits after winning their last game…. Birkirkara beat Floriana (2-0) with two late goals and Gżira United edged Hibernians (3-2).

 

Leaders Gżira United have been very consistent so far as their tally of 10 points from four games shows.

 

They have the momentum going into this delicate clash with Birkirkara who will be going all out to stop the Maroons’ unbeaten start and make a statement about their own chances of challenging for the top positions.
 

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