Malta Football Association
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Newcomers out to maintain positive start – Preview
Sep 20, 2019
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BOV Premier League
PHOTO: Joe Borg/MFA
PHOTO: Joe Borg/MFA

Mosta vs Birkirkara (Friday – Centenary Stadium, 7pm)

 

The Mosta-Birkirkara clash heralds the start of match day four of the erstwhile exciting and unpredictable 2019-20 BOV Premier League.
 


Mosta are coming from a 2-1 setback against Senglea Athletic while Birkirkara are still searching their first win after three matches.

 

In their first outing under Dutch coach Andre Paus, the Stripes drew 3-3 against Balzan, conceding a goal in the dying minutes of the game.

 

Jeferson de Sousa Ferreira returns from suspension for the Stripes while Mosta are expected to be at full strength.
 

Ħamrun Spartans vs Sirens – (Saturday – Centenary Stadium, 6pm)

 

Early optimism remains in full flow at Sirens who meet Ħamrun Spartans in their fourth match of the season.

 

The First Division champions are sharing top position with Floriana and Senglea Athletic on seven points.

 

The Ħamrun-Sirens clash promises to be an enticing encounter with the Spartans looking for their second win on the trot but clearly facing a tough task to stop Sirens for whom Brazilian players Flavio Cheveresan and Thiago Espindola along with Nigerian striker Emmanuel Okoye and Nigerian-born midfielder Ige Adeshina have been outstanding so far.

 

Ħamrun coach Manuele Blasi will have to make do without goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo who was sent off during half-time in the 3-2 win over Tarxien Rainbows. Bartolo was among the substitutes for the Spartans until his dismissal.
 

Hibernians vs Senglea Athletic (Saturday – National Stadium, 6pm)

 

Hibernians will be going all out to bounce back from their 2-1 upset to Sirens but they will surely not underestimate the in-form Senglea Athletic who are still unbeaten.

 

The Yellow-Reds are on a high after back-to-back wins and their lofty position in the standings.

 

The Paolites are still finding their feet with Italian coach Stefano Sanderra demanding an improved performance from his players after their low-key showing against Sirens.

 

Balzan vs Valletta (Saturday – National Stadium, 8pm)


This is the weekend’s most awaited game as champions Valletta take on Balzan in what is expected to be a keenly-contested encounter.

 

Valletta and Balzan are striving to discover their best form in this early phase of the domestic season. Both grabbed a last-minute equaliser in their last outings with Balzan drawing 3-3 against neighbours Birkirkara and Valletta scoring in stoppage time in their 1-1 draw against rivals Floriana.

 

Balzan will be strengthened by the return of Dutch defender Augustine Loof and hope to have Nenad Sljivic available.

 

Valletta are still missing the injured Santiago Malano.

 

Sliema Wanderers vs Gudja United (Saturday – Centenary Stadium, 8.15pm)

 

Sliema Wanderers are still without a win after three games but their late equaliser in the 1-1 draw against Gżira United will have boosted their optimism.

 

They face Gudja United who have done well so far in their first campaign in the top flight. Led by Josef Mansueto, Gudja United have collected three points so far after three consecutive draws.

 

Sta Lucia vs Tarxien Rainbows– (Sunday – National Stadium, 6pm)


This is another clash between neighbours who have had contrasting results in the opening games of the season.

 

While Sta Lucia have impressed in their first season in the Premier League, picking up five points from a maximum of nine, Tarxien Rainbows are the only team without a point.

 

The Rainbows will be without defender Destin Mambouana who is suspended after being sent off during the defeat to Ħamrun Spartans.

 

In the meantime, Jacob Walker returns for Sta Lucia.
 

Floriana vs Gżira United (Sunday – National Stadium, 8pm)


Matchday 4 concludes with another direct clash between two teams who have high hopes of challenging at the top this season – Floriana and Gzira United.

 

Both teams had to settle for a point in their last match after conceding late goals in derby games.

 

While the Greens still occupy first place, the Maroons have yet to win this season after three successive draws.

 

This fixture also pits two Italian coaches against each other as Floriana are led by Enzo Potenza while Gżira are under the guidance of Giovanni Tedesco, who had two spells with Floriana in recent years.  

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