Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Birkirkara-Valletta clash takes centre-stage on Matchday 5
Sep 27, 2019
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PHOTOS: Joe Borg/MFA
PHOTOS: Joe Borg/MFA

  • PHOTOS: Joe Borg/MFA
  • PHOTOS: Joe Borg/MFA
  • PHOTOS: Joe Borg/MFA

Tarxien Rainbows vs Sliema Wanderers (Friday – Centenary Stadium, 7pm)

 

Tarxien Rainbows face Sliema Wanderers in the opening fixture of matchday five. It is a clash between two teams who have had a disappointing start to the season.
 


While the Wanderers have pocketed only two points, the Rainbows have yet to collect their first point of the season.

 

Defender Destin Mambouna returns from suspension for Tarxien Rainbows.

 

Sliema coach Alfonso Greco must cope without Mark Scerri and Italian defender Antonio Stelitano who picked up their fourth yellow card in the 1-1 draw against Gudja United.

 

Birkirkara vs Valletta (Saturday – National Stadium, 3pm)

 

This is the most eagerly-awaited game of matchday five as champions Valletta face rivals Birkirkara in their first-round meeting.

 

Led by coach Darren Abdilla, Valletta have seven points, five more than Birkirkara who have yet to win this season.

 

While Valletta will be going all out to follow their 2-0 victory over Balzan with another three-point return, the Stripes will be doing their utmost to end their winless run, knowing that victory over the champions could kickstart their season.

 

Valletta appear to have settled after the 3-2 defeat against Sta Lucia in their league opener. The have won two games and drew 1-1 against Floriana in the derby.

 

Dutch coach Andre Paus and Argentine striker Federico Falcone will be facing their former team as both had spells with Valletta in recent years.

 

Gudja United vs Floriana (Saturday – Centenary Stadium, 3pm)

 

A delicate encounter for Floriana as they face Gudja United who are proving a hard nut to crack in their first season in the top flight. Gudja are undefeated but still looking for their first win after drawing their opening four matches. 

 

Floriana are sharing top spot on eight points but are finding it hard to score. Their three goals in four matches have come from Albanian striker Kristian Keqi.

 

The Greens have Argentinian midfielder Matias Garcia suspended.

 

Senglea Athletic vs Ħamrun Spartans (Saturday – National Stadium, 5pm)

 

This should be another interesting match.

 

Ħamrun Spartans will be aiming to extend their positive run and hold on to their lofty position as they are currently sharing top spot with Floriana and Santa Lucia on eight points. They are coming from a 4-0 win over newly-promoted Sirens.

 

Senglea Athletic are determined to return to winning ways after their 2-1 defeat at the hands of Hibernians.

 

The Spartans welcome back goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo who missed the last game through suspension.

 

Sirens vs Sta Lucia (Saturday – Centenary Stadium, 5.15pm)

 

Another intriguing fixture as newly promoted teams Santa Lucia and Sirens meet for the first time in the top category of Maltese football.

 

Both have done well in the opening weeks of the 2019-20 season with Santa Lucia still unbeaten and leading the way while Sirens, one point behind, have lost only once.

 

The Saints edged neighbours Tarxien Rainbows 2-1 last weekend to maintain their excellent start. Sirens went down 4-0 to Ħamrun Spartans.

 

Mosta vs Hibernians (Sunday – National Stadium, 3pm)

 

Hibernians face Mosta in Sunday’s opening match at the National Stadium.

 

The Paolites had to dig deep into their reserves of energy and resilience in their 2-1 win over Senglea after going down to 10 men following the dismissal of goalkeeper Marko Jovicic.

 

For their part, Mosta also come into this match in a positive frame of mind after holding Birkirkara to a 1-1 draw.

 

Gżira United vs Balzan (Sunday – National Stadium, 5pm)

 

Gżira United face Balzan in a match neither team can afford to lose if they are to bridge the gap with the leading sides.

 

This encounter also pits together two teams who featured in the Europa League this summer with both having high hopes of challenging at the top.

 

Gżira United are still looking for their first win after four successive draws while Balzan also have four points from four matches.

 

The Maroons drew 0-0 against Floriana last weekend while Balzan suffered a 2-0 defeat to Valletta.

 

Midfielder Zachary Scerri is suspended for Gżira.  

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