Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Upbeat Birkirkara face Sirens test as Premier League resumes
Jan 5, 2021
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BOV Premier League
PHOTO: Joe Borg/MFA
PHOTO: Joe Borg/MFA

  • PHOTO: Joe Borg/MFA
  • PHOTO: Joe Borg/MFA
  • PHOTO: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

The 2020-21 BOV Premier League returns after the Christmas break with another interesting programme as the top-flight clubs will be looking to step up their challenge in the second half of the season. The matches involving Gudja United, Lija Athletic and Valletta have been postponed due to COVID-19 issues.


Sirens vs Birkirkara (Tuesday – Hibernians Stadium, 5pm)

 

Premier League football for 2021 kicks off with an intriguing clash between Sirens and Birkirkara, two clubs that have shown progress in their last outings after a below-par start to the season.

 

Sirens are 11th with a game in hand while the resurgent Birkirkara have moved up to sixth place, five points above their opponents.

 

Sirens have already been active during this January transfer market, signing Hamed Kone from Gżira United. Giovanni Tedesco, who took charge of Sirens last month, will be facing one of his former clubs as the St Paul's Bay outfit aim to climb further up the standings.

 

Birkirkara are on a roll, undefeated in their last seven matches and buoyed by their 5-2 win over champions Floriana 5-2 just before Christmas.

 

Experienced midfielder Ryan Grech is out for Sirens as he serves a one-match ban. Birkirkara coach Andre Paus is expected to have a full squad at his disposal.

 

Balzan vs Sta Lucia (Tuesday – Hibernians Stadium, 9pm)

 

Balzan face a much-improved Santa Lucia side whose positive run before the Christmas break lifted them into a mid-table position, nine points ahead of their impending opponents.

 

Balzan, winless in their last nine matches, will be hoping that the start of a new year will signal a reversal of fortunes as coach Mark Miller strives to end his team’s slump. Their last victory was back in mid-October, narrowly beating neighbours Lija Athletic 1-0.

 

On the other hand, the Saints have enjoyed some exciting results lately. They will be pursuing their fourth victory on the trot as another three points would steer them further away of the relegation zone.

 

Influential midfield duo Paul Fenech and Uros Ljubomirac return for Balzan after serving a one-match ban.

 

Gżira United vs Senglea Athletic (Wednesday – Centenary Stadium, 5pm)

 

Gżira United start as favourites to pick up the three points as they meet bottom side Senglea Athletic.

Senglea will be going all out to resurrect their fading hopes of avoiding relegation after a very disappointing start to the season. The Yellow-Reds are in the process of refreshing their squad in the hope of reviving their season.

 

Gżira are coming from an up-and-down period with only one win in their last five outings and currently in fifth position, six points adrift of leading duo Ħamrun Spartans and Sliema Wanderers.

 

The Maroons have signed midfielder Maxuel Maia Da Silva from Sirens in exchange for Ivorian striker Kone. They have also parted ways with striker Amadou Samb,

 

Sliema Wanderers vs Mosta (Wednesday – Centenary Stadium, 9.15pm)

 

Sliema Wanderers have enjoyed an impressive campaign as reflected by their lofty position at the top opf the standings.

 

On Wednesday, they will be up against a Mosta side who have are also enjoying a great season, rising up to fourth in the table and not far from the pace-setters.

 

A win for Mosta would add to the feelgood factor while boosting their challenge for a top-four position and a Europa League spot.

 

Mosta face a tough challenge though as Sliema will be looking to cement their grip on top spot, knowing that a win would increase the pressure on Ħamrun Spartans whose match against Valletta has been postponed.

 

Two key players return for the Wanderers as Kurt Shaw and Gabriel Aquilina have completed a one-match ban. Clayton Failla is suspended for Mosta.

 

Żejtun Corinthians v Tarxien Rainbows (Thursday – Centenary Stadium, 5pm)

 

A direct encounter between two teams languising in the bottom part of the standings, with Żejtun Corinthians fourth from bottom, four points ahead of Tarxien Rainbows.

 

Both sides will be going flat-out to obtain a positive result as they look to improve their chances of preserving their top-division status.

 

Apart from chasing the three points, Tarxien Rainbows will also be aimin to improve on their poor performance in their last outing – a 5-0 defeat against Ħamrun Spartans just before Christmas.

 

Żejtun will be looking to bounce back from two consecutive defeats while the Rainbows have now won since their susprise 3-1 win over Valletta towards the end of November.

 

Midfielder Matthew Spiteri is back from suspension for Tarxien but Robeiro do Nasacimento Santos is suspened for Żejtun Corinthians.

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