Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Ħamrun Spartans face Floriana in top clash on MD13
Dec 16, 2020
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BOV Premier League
PHOTO: Joe Borg/MFA
PHOTO: Joe Borg/MFA

Lija Athletic vs Valletta (Friday – Centenary Stadium, 5pm)

 

Valletta take on Lija Athletic in a clash between two sides in need for points for different reasons.


While the Whites will be vying to make up ground on the front runners in this season’s title race, Lija need the points to improve their prospects of avoiding relegation.

 

Valletta, who needed a last-gasp Rowen Muscat strike to edge Żejtun Corinthians in their last outing, will be targeting back-to-back wins as they look to breathe life into their title challenge.

 

Gianluca Zammit is missing for Lija Athletic who welcome back former Valletta defender Juan Cruz Gill from suspension. Goalkeeper Henry Bonello may be available for Valletta after missing their last three matches.

 

This will be the 10th duel between these two teams in the top division with Lija still chasing their first points in direct clashes with Valletta.

 

Tarxien Rainbows vs Sliema Wanderers (Friday – Centenary Stadium, 9.15pm)

 

Leaders Sliema Wanderers will fancy thir chances of gaining full points from their match against struggling Tarxien Rainbows.

 

Sliema are coming from a 1-0 win over Old Firm rivals Floriana in their last encounter while Tarxien will be returning to action after an enforced breal due to COVID issues. The Rainbows lost their last two matches.

 

Kurt Shaw and Gabriel Aquilina will be missing for Sliema, both suspended, while Matthew Spiteri will serve a one-match ban for Tarxien Rainbows.

 

Birkirkara vs Gżira United (Saturday – Hibernians Stadium, 2pm)

 

A compelling clash on the cards between Birkirkara and Gżira United with both sides eyeing maximum points from this encounter to keep up the pressure in the top part of the standings.

 

Gżira are currently four points ahead of Birkirkara but the latter are on a roll, winning four games during a five-match unbeaten run. Both sides were victorious in their last outing, the Stripes narrowly beating Hibernians 1-0 while the Maroons had the better of Balzan 2-0.

 

This will be the 20th encounter between Birkirkara and Gżira United in the top division with seven wins for Birkirkara compared to five wins for Gżira United and eight draws.

 

Ħamrun Spartans vs Floriana (Saturday – National Stadium, 2pm)

 

A fixture that evokes memories of the late eighties when both Ħamrun Spartans and Floriana were among the main contenders for the top honours.

 

The Greens, who have had an up-and-down season so far, face a Ħamrun side brimming with enthusiasm and belief as a result of their encouraging performances which have enabled them to maintain a top-three position so far.

 

Ħamrun Spartans are currently in third place, three points behind leaders Sliema Wanderers but with a game in hand.

 

Both sides met Sliema Wanderers in their last outing as the Spartans’ matchday 12 fixture against Tarxien Rainbows had to be rescheduled. Ħamrun overcame Sliema 2-0 but the latter bounced back, beating Floriana 1-0.

 

Floriana will be without the suspended Marcelo Dias while Ħamrun Spartans are expected to be at full strength.

 

Senglea Athletic vs Sirens (Saturday – Hibernians Stadium, 6.15pm)

 

Italian coach Giovanni Tedesco will make his debut for his sixth Maltese club as his new side Sirens face bottom team Senglea Athletic.

 

Sirens will be targeting back-to-back victories after their 3-1 win over Gudja United in their last encounter..

 

Senglea, on the other hand, are in a dire situation and need to start picking up the points immediately if they are to revive their hopes of keeping their place in the top flight.

 

Mosta vs Żejtun C. (Saturday – Centenary Stadium, 5pm)

 

A tough 90 minutes coming up for both sides. Mosta boast more experience in the top tier but Żejtun Corinthians are having a positive season in their first experience in the top flight.

 

Mosta were held to a 1-1 draw by Lija Athletic in their last match while Żejtun Corinthians confirmed their hard-to-beat reputation in a last-gasp defeat to Valletta.

 

Żejtun will be determined to make amends after their last setback and three points against Mosta will steer them out of the relegation zone. On the other hand, a win for Mosta will further consolidate their upper-part position in the Premier League standings.

 

Hibernians vs Balzan – (Sunday – National Stadium – 2pm)

 

Two sides looking to get back to winning form with Balzan losing 2-0 to Gżira United while Hibernians succumbed to a 1-0 defeat against Birkirkara.

 

A defeat for the Paolites displaced them from top spot in the standings but they are still very much in the mix for the title while Balzan have slid down the table after a spate of negative results

 

Influential Serbian winger Uros Ljubomirac and experienced midfielder PauL Fenech are suspended for Balzan who will also be without coach Mark Miller as the latter serves a one-match touchline ban. Hibernians will be without captain Bjorn Kristensen, suspended.

 

Santa Lucia vs Gudja United (Sunday – Centenary Stadium, 5.15pm)

 

Matchday 13 comes to an end with the derby between neighbours as Santa Lucia face Gudja United with both teams enjoying a positive campaign. They currently occupy a mid-table position with the Saints only two points adrift of Gudja.

 

Santa Lucia will be vying for their third win on the trot, having beaten Sirens and Senglea Athletic in their last two outings, while Gudja will be looking too bounce back from their poor performance in the 3-1 defeat to Sirens.

 

 A balanced encounter is expected on Sunday between two teams who like to play attacking football. Right-back Justin Grioli serves a one-match ban for Gudja United.

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