Malta Football Association
NEWS:
16 teams eye berth in FA Trophy quarter-finals
Jan 24, 2020
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Action from the first-round match between Floriana and Senglea. PHOTO: Joe Borg/MFA
Action from the first-round match between Floriana and Senglea. PHOTO: Joe Borg/MFA

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

 

The FA Trophy fourth-round programme kicks off at the Centenary on Friday with the all-Premier League clash between Mosta and Birkirkara.
 


The game promises to be a balanced affair, judging by the positions of Mosta and Birkirkara in the standings with only two points separating the two teams. Both have won two of their last three games with Birkirkara drawing against Senglea in their last league outing and Mosta going down to Sirens.

 

The first-round clash between Birkirkara and Mosta ended in a 1-1 draw.
Birkirkara eliminated Nadur Youngsters in the previous round of the Knock-Out competition while Mosta registered a 7-0 win over second-division side Rabat Ajax.

 

Pietà Hotspurs vs Xewkija Tigers (Saturday – Centenary Stadium, 2pm)


First division side Pietà Hotspurs face Gozitan team of Xewkija Tigers, currently second in the Gozitan First Division League. The Hotspurs, seventh in the First Division, are coming from three consecutive defeats and a draw in the league, while the Gozitans have won three of their last four games.

 

Pietà have defeated two first division teams in the previous rounds – St George’s (4-1) and Mqabba (3-0). Xewkija have advanced four rounds so far, knocking out St Lawrence Spurs (5-0), Għarb Rangers (2-0), Birżebbuġa St Peter’s (7-2) and Mġarr United (5-2).

 

Balzan vs Sta Lucia (Saturday – Hibernians Stadium, 2pm)

 

FA Trophy holders Balzan meet Sta Lucia in this all-Premier League encounter.

 

Santa Lucia are on a high after drawing against Valletta and beating Gżira United 2-1 in their last two league outings.
Balzan are coming from a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Floriana following back-to-back wins, including a 3-0 win over the same Sta Lucia.

 

Balzan advanced to the Last 16 after beating San Ġwann 3-0 while Sta Lucia claimed a big scalp as they overcame Sliema Wanderers 2-0.

 

Floriana vs Senglea Athletic (Saturday – Hibernians Stadium, 4pm)

 

Floriana play against Senglea Athletic with Vincenzo Potenza, the coach of the Greens, facing his former team for the second time this season.

 

It goes without saying that Senglea will be going all out to compensate for their first-round 5-0 defeat to Floriana. Senglea have gone eight games without a win in the league.

 

In the previous round, Floriana had the better of Melita 6-0 while Senglea pulled off a surprise as they beat the more-quoted Gżira United 2-1.

 

The FA Trophy clash between Floriana and Senglea revives memories of the 1981 final between the two clubs. Floriana had won that match 2-1 at the Empire Stadium.

 

Pembroke Athleta vs Hibernians (Saturday – Centenary Stadium, 4.15pm)

 

Hibernians, fourth in the BOV Premier League, meet Pembroke Athleta who are sixth in the First division league.

 

Hibernians start as favourites but they are unlikely to underestimate Pembroke who will be looking to cause a surprise. In the previous round, the Paolites eliminated Żejtun Corinthians (3-0) while Pembroke saw off two second0division teams,

 

Xgħajra Tornadoes (3-0) and Żabbar St Patrick (6-0).

 

Swieqi United vs Ħamrun Spartans (Sunday – Centenary Stadium, 2pm)

 

Ħamrun Spartans will fancy their chances of advancing to the quarter-finals but Swieqi United will surely be doing their best to hold their own and possibly keep their own cup dream alive. The Spartans are in eighth place in the BOV Premier League with Swieqi occupying the same position in the First Division.

 

Swieqi have eliminated second-division side Mellieħa (4-0) and first division team Qormi, 5-4 on penalties after a 2-2 draw.
Ħamrun edged out Tarxien Rainbows (2-1) in the third round.

 

Victoria Hotspurs vs Gudja United (Sunday – Gozo Stadium, 3pm)

 

In the only game scheduled to take place at the Gozo Stadium, Victoria Hotspurs face Gudja United.

 

The Hotspurs are in third place in the Gozitan first division while Gudja United are 10th in the BOV Premier League.

 

Victoria Hotspurs have been involved in all rounds so far, beating third-division teams Mdina Knights (7-0) and Siġġiewi (4-0), Gozitan team Xagħra United (3-0) and Żebbuġ Rangers (5-3).

 

Gudja United progressed to the fourth round on the back of a 4-0 win over Lija Athletic.

 

Valletta vs Sirens (Sunday – Centenary Stadium, 4.15 pm)

 

This is arguably the highlight of this weekend’s FA Trophy programme as Valletta, the current champion and FA Trophy finalists last year, meet Sirens, this season’s revelation team in the BOV Premier League.

 

At the moment, only one point seperates the two teams in the Premier League table with Valletta third on 29 points and Sirens on 28. The first-round encounter ended in a goalless draw.

 

Valletta defeated first division St Andrew’s (4-0) in the previous round while Sirens overcame Gozitan first-division side Kerċem Ajax (4-1). 

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