Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Leaders Hibs face Euro contenders Ħamrun Spartans
Mar 8, 2019
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General
BOV Premier League
Photo: Joe Borg/MFA
Photo: Joe Borg/MFA

Tarxien Rainbows vs Birkirkara (Friday – Centenary Stadium, 6pm)

 

The match between Tarxien Rainbows and Birkirkara lifts the curtains on matchday 20 of the BOV Premier League.
 


Both teams are under pressure to pick up the points.

 

The Rainbows are coming from four consecutive defeats in which they conceded 12 goals and only scored one.

 

Birkirkara beat St Andrews 2-0 in their last outing but they still have work to do to cement a top-four position.

 

Mislav Andjelkovic and Danilo Chapoval Quipapa return for the Stripes but midfielder Maurizio Vella is suspended.

 

Matthew Spiteri is in line to return for Tarxien.

 

Birkirkara won the first-round match 2-0.
 

Ħamrun Spartans vs Hibernians (Friday – National Stadium, 7pm)


Leaders Hibernians have a tricky test on paper as they face Ħamrun Spartans who are in contention for a European spot.

 

The Spartans can’t afford to drop more points after suffering back-to-back defeats against Mosta and Sliema Wanderers.

 

Ħamrun will be going all out to get back to winning form but their task will be a difficult one as Hibernians are on a four-match winning run.

 

Giovanni Tedesco, the Spartans’ Italian coach, is still serving a touchline ban.

 

Midfielder Dunstan Vella returns from suspension for the Paolites but they are still without striker Jurgen Degabriele who is sidelined with a knee injury.

 

Hibernians edged Ħamrun 2-1.

 

Sliema Wanderers vs Mosta (Friday – Centenary Stadium, 8pm)


Sliema Wanderers and Mosta are on a high after winning their last match.

 

The Wanderers, 2-1 winners over Ħamrun Spartans last weekend, are in need of points to stay in the hunt for a top-three position and a place in the European competitions next season. The Blues are four points behind Gżira United.

 

Thanks to their 3-2 victory over Pietà Hotspurs, Mosta have climbed to a mid-table position, widening the gap on the relegation strugglers.

 

Mosta welcome back Gianluca Como from suspension while Mark Scerri is expected to return for Sliema Wanderers.

 

The first-round match went Sliema’s way – 2-1.

 

Valletta vs Pietà Hotspurs (Saturday – National Stadium, 2pm)


Champions Valletta start as favourites to win this encounter against Pietà Hotspurs who remain bottom of the table despite their plucky performances of late.

 

Valletta came from behind to beat Balzan 2-1 in their last encounter. Montenegrin striker Bojan Kaljevic returns from suspension while Italian forward Matteo Piciollo is still doubtful.

 

Christian Grech returns for the Hotspurs while Antonio Macedo is suspended.

 

Valletta claimed a 4-0 win over Pietà in the first round.

 

St Andrew’s vs Qormi (Saturday – Hibernians Stadium, 2pm)


This is a clash between two teams in the lower part of the standings.

 

A win for St Andrews, currently in 11th position, would significantly boost their survival hopes.

 

On the other hand, Qormi need the three points to close the gap on third-from-bottom Senglea Athletic.

 

St Andrews are set to be without young player Alexander Satariano but Jacob Walker returns from suspension.

 

Qormi have Davide Mansi and Kassiano Soares suspended but Alan Abela is available.

 

St Andrews won the first-round match 2-0.

 

Floriana vs Balzan (Saturday – National Stadium, 4pm)


Floriana face another difficult hurdle as they take on Balzan on Saturday.

 

It is a must-win game for both teams as Floriana are still roaming in perilous waters while Balzan have now slipped seven points behind third-placed Gżira United.

 

Jurgen Pisani returns from suspension for the Greens but Brazilian Emerson Marcelina is suspended.

 

Balzan, who have no selection problems, beat Floriana 2-0 in the first round.

 

Gżira United vs Senglea Athletic (Saturday – Victor Tedesco Stadium, 4.15pm)


Gżira United will be bidding to embark on a winning run but in Senglea Athletic they are meeting a team who have shown significant improvement since the January transfer window.

 

Senglea’s four-match winning run in the second round came to an end last weekend when they lost 1-0 to Floriana.

 

The Maroons are coming from a 4-1 victory over Qormi, their first since December.

 

Senglea are expected to field their best formation while Gżira have Sacha Borg suspended.

 

Gżira won the first-round game 1-0.

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