Malta Football Association
Title hopefuls Valletta and Balzan in direct clash on MD6
Oct 5, 2018
Posted in:
BOV Premier League

Valletta vs Balzan (Friday – National Stadium, 7pm)


Without doubt, this evening’s encounter between champions Valletta and Balzan, runners-up last season, is the top clash of the weekend.

Both teams will be chasing a win to keep the pace with leaders Gżira United. Balzan are one point behind the Maroons with Valletta a further three points back.


A balanced and competitive encounter is anticipated as Balzan are coming from four consecutive wins while Valletta have been impressive in their last three victories.


Montenegrin striker Bojan Kaljevic will be facing his former team-mates for the first time since his move to the Citizens.


Kaljevic and Mario Fontanella have formed a lethal attacking partnership at Valletta, scoring 11 goals between them.


Balzan welcome Milos Lepovic back from suspension.


Pietà Hotspurs vs Mosta – (Friday – Victor Tedesco Stadium, 6pm)

This is another game that can go either way.


Mosta are coming from a 0-0 draw against Ħamrun Spartans while Pietà Hotspurs suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat to Balzan.


The Hotspurs are proving worthy challengers for every team in the top flight but they are conceding fatal goals in the last 20 minutes of the match.


Pietá have not won a top-flight match since 25th April, 2015, when they beat Żebbuġ Rangers 3-1.


Mosta coach Enrico Piccioni is expected to retain the same starting XI that earned a point against Ħamrun Spartans.


Ħamrun Spartans vs Sliema Wanderers – (Friday – Victor Tedesco Stadium, 8.15 pm)


A direct clash between two sides aiming to finish in the top three this season.


Sliema Wanderers are sharing second place with Balzan with 12 points while Ħamrun Spartans are seventh on eight points.


For the third match running, the Wanderers can’t bank on midfielder Ryan Fenech who will be serving the third and final match of his suspension following his dismissal in the game against Gżira United.


On the plus side, Argentinian midfielder Matias Muchardi, who missed the 3-1 victory over Tarxien Rainbows, is expected to return.


The Spartans will be without goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo who starts a two-match ban after his red card against Mosta.


Cameroonian winger Njongo Doding Priso, who missed the last game, is expected to return.


Floriana vs Senglea Athletic – (Saturday, National Stadium – 3pm)

Ninth-placed Floriana face bottom side Senglea Athletic who have only one point after five matches.


The Greens, who beat Qormi 3-1 last weekend, start as favourites but expect Senglea to go all out to halt their negative run. The Yellow-Reds are coming from a 5-1 defeat at the hands of Valletta.


Senglea have used the largest number of players so far this season with a total of 25 (12 of whom were foreigners).


Defender Alex Cini is available for Floriana after serving a one-match ban.


Tarxien Rainbows vs Hibernians – (Tomorrow – National Stadium, 5.15pm)


Expectations of a keenly-contested derby are high as only three points separate Hibernians and Tarxien Rainbows .


Hibernians needed two late goals to overcome St Andrews last weekend. They will have coach Stefano Sanderra back on the bench after he served a one-match touchline ban.


Tarxien Rainbows, who are coming from a 3-1 defeat to Sliema Wanderers, will be without Italian striker Michele Paolucci, suspended.


Gżira United vs Qormi – (Saturday, Victor Tedesco Stadium – 3pm)

Leaders Gżira United will be bidding to extend their unbeaten start when they face Qormi who are finding the going tough in the top division.


Qormi haven’t won in the last four games, scoring just five goals and conceding 15.


Gżira’s morale is sky high after their come-from-behind over Birkirkara while Qormi will be aiming to cause an upset.


The Maroons will be without their top scorer, Amadou Samb, who is suspended after his red card against Birkirkara.


St Andrews vs Birkirkara – (Saturday, Victor Tedesco Stadium – 5.15pm)

St Andrews and Birkirkara are both eyeing a return to winning ways after losing to Hibernians (2-0) and Gżira United (2-1) respectively.


The Saints are coming from four consecutive defeats, a run that has left them in 12th place. They also need to end their goal drought since they have not found the net in their last three games.


Birkirkara, now four points off the top, will be aiming to bounce back from their disappointing 2-1 defeat to Gżira United, a game where they were the better side in the first half but faded out in the second.

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