Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Leaders Floriana face Ħamrun test in MD11 curtain-raiser
Nov 22, 2019
Posted in:
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Leagues
BOV Premier League
PHOTO: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
PHOTO: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

Ħamrun Spartans vs Floriana (Friday – National Stadium, 7pm)

 

The BOV Premier League resumes following the international break with leaders Floriana taking on Ħamrun Spartans in an intriguing curtain-raiser to matchday 11.


Floriana will be aiming to return to winning form following their 2-2 draw against Hibernians in their last outing as they look to maintain their title push and consolidate top spot.

 

The Spartans started the season brightly but have slipped eight points behind their opponents after three games without a win. They lost 2-0 against Sliema Wanderers in their last game.

 

Midfielder Brandon Paiber, who made his Malta debut in the defeat to Spain last week, is out with a one-match ban while the Spartans welcome back Moroccan forward Soufiane Lagzir who was suspended for the Sliema match.

 

Santa Lucia vs Sliema Wanderers (Saturday – Centenary Stadium, 2pm)


Santa Lucia, who lost 2-0 to Birkirkara in their last match, face Sliema Wanderers who ended their winless run with a 2-0 win over Ħamrun Spartans.

 

The two teams will meet twice in the space of a week as they have been drawn against each other in the FA Trophy third round.

 

Both Santa Lucia and Sliema will be looking to collect the points from their league clash to enhance their league position and move away from the bottom positions.

 

The Saints will be without Jamie Zerafa, suspended, but welcome back David Mendoza.

 

For Sliema, Mark Scerri will serve the second of his three-match suspension.

 

Sirens vs Gudja United (Saturday – Centenary Stadium, 4.15pm)

 

This is a direct encounter between two newly-promoted sides who have endured rather different fortunes so far this season.

 

Sirens are having an impressive season as they lie second on 20 points. Gudja United had a difficult start but they have claimed back-to-back 3-2 wins over Birkirkara and Tarxien Rainbows to lift their morale and improve their position in the standings.

 

Sirens, under the guidance of Steve D’Amato, will be hoping to build on their 1-0 win over Gżira United.

 

Midfielder Ryan Grech is out for Sirens after collecting his fourth yellow card while Miguel Attard will miss out for Gudja, led by coach Josef Mansueto.

 

Mosta vs Valletta (Sunday – National Stadium, 2pm)

 

Champions Valletta face Mosta in Sunday’s opening match.

 

While Valletta will be going all out to make up further ground on the pacesetters, Mosta will be looking to bounce back after consecutive defeats.

 

Mosta, with Mark Miller at the helm, will be hoping to make amends for their 5-0 defeat to Balzan, but their task promises to be anything but easy against a resurgent Valletta side who are coming from a 1-0 win over Senglea Athletic.

 

Nikita Kotlov is set to return for Mosta while left-back Joseph Zerafa is suspended for Valletta.

 

Hibernians vs Balzan (Sunday – National Stadium, 4pm)


One of the most attractive fixtures on matchday 11 sees Hibernians cross swords with Balzan, two sides determined to climb up the table and challenge for the top positions.

 

Hibernians figured in a 2-2 draw against leaders Floriana before the international break. They will be looking to pick up maximum points this weekend to boost their position and morale ahead of their upcoming matches against Valletta and Gżira United.

 

Balzan also have their sights set on the three points on Sunday as a win would move them level on points with the Paolites.

 

Ferdinando Apap returns for Hibernians but Riccardo Duarte Correa and Nenad Sljivic will be missing for Balzan, both suspended.

 

Birkirkara vs Tarxien Rainbows (Monday – Centenary Stadium, 6pm)


Another encounter between sides in the bottom half as Birkirkara face Tarxien Rainbows who have lost all their 10 games so far.

 

Ten points separate Birkirkara, still 10th, and Tarxien who will be led for the first time by new coach Demis Paul Scerri.

 

The Stripes will be looking to build on their spirited performance in a 2-0 win over Santa Lucia in their last game as Dutch coach Andre Paus strives to get the best out of his players and inspire a revival.

 

Italian defender Enrico Pepe is back from suspension for Birkirkara.

 

Nevin Portelli returns to domestic duty for Tarxien Rainbows after making his debut for the Malta Under-21 team against Denmark.

 

Senglea Athletic vs Gżira United (Monday – Centenary Stadium, 8.15pm)


Gżira United face Senglea Athletic with both sides keen to recover from 1-0 defeats in their last games – Senglea lost to Valletta and the Maroons went down to Sirens.

 

A win for Gżira United would keep them firmly in the title race whereas the Cottonera side will be seeking to consolidate their mid-table position.

 

Hamed Kone and Clifford Gatt Baldacchino are out, suspended, for Gżira, led by Giovanni Tedesco.

 

Senglea Athletic defender Marcelo Dias is also suspended.

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