Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Title hopefuls Hibs and Gżira United in direct clash
Feb 8, 2019
Posted in:
General
Leagues
BOV Premier League
Photos: Joe Borg/MFA
Photos: Joe Borg/MFA

  • Photos: Joe Borg/MFA
  • Photos: Joe Borg/MFA
  • Photos: Joe Borg/MFA

Qormi vs Valletta (Friday – National Stadium, 7pm)

 

The second-round meeting between Qormi and Valletta kicks off matchday 17 of the BOV Premier League.
 


Buoyed by their 2-0 win over Birkirkara, Valletta, currently sharing top spot with Hibernians, are regarded as favourites to pick up the three points but Qormi are also on a high after ending their disappointing run with a 2-0 victory over fellows-in-distress Pietà Hotspurs last weekend.

 

Qormi have never beaten Valletta in Malta’s top division. They have only managed two draws in 34 meetings with Valletta.

 

Tensior Gusman is suspended for Qormi.

 

The first-round match saw Valletta beat Qormi 6-0.

 

Senglea Athletic vs Pietà Hotspurs (Saturday – Centenary Stadium, 2pm)

 

This is a direct relegation clash. Senglea Athletic will be bidding to win their fourth consecutive game to further boost their chances of keeping their top-flight status.

 

Last week, the Yellow-Reds beat Balzan 2-1 to make it three consecutive wins in the BOV Premier League for the first time in the club’s history.

 

Pietà will be going all out to reverse their fortunes after failing to collect any points from their last six games. Only a win would satisfy Ramon Zammit’s side.

 

Neil Pace Cocks is suspended for the Hotspurs.

 

The first-round match ended in a 1-1 draw.

 

Mosta vs Balzan (Saturday – Hibernians Stadium, 2pm)

 

Jacques Scerri will take charge of his first game since being appointed coach of Balzan following the resignation of Marko Micovic in the wake of the 2-1 defeat to Senglea Athletic.

 

Balzan will be without suspended duo Paul Fenech and Elkin Orlando Serrano Valero.

 

Nenad Sljivic is expected to be available for the Reds who need a win to revive their bid for a top-four finish.

 

Mosta coach Mark Miller is expected to field the same formation that started the 2-0 win over Tarxien Rainbows last weekend.

 

Balzan beat Mosta 3-1 in the first round.

 

Sliema Wanderers vs St Andrews (Saturday – Centenary Stadium, 4.15pm)

 

Sliema Wanderers will be aiming to get back to winning ways while St Andrews will be determined to bounce back from their 3-0 defeat to Ħamrun Spartans.

 

The Blues are still in contention for a Europa League spot while St Andrews’ top objective is to retain their BOV Premier League status.

 

Both teams have one player suspended. Captain Mark Scerri is out for the Wanderers while Kevyn McFarlane msses out for the Saints after both collected their fourth yellow card last weekend.

 

In the first round, Sliema Wanderers emerged 2-0 winners.

 

Ħamrun Spartans vs Tarxien Rainbows (Saturday – Hibernians Stadium, 4pm)

 

Euro challengers Ħamrun Spartans will be hopeful of extending their positive run when they face Tarxien Rainbows who are coming from a 2-0 defeat to Mosta.

 

The Spartans are unbeaten in their last nine games – their last defeat was against Hibernians (1-2) on October 21. They have since won six matches and drew three times.

 

Coach Giovanni Tedesco is still serving a touchline ban while goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo is suspended.

 

The Rainbows are strengthened by the return of defender Daniel Zerafa.

 

They will be aiming to repeat their first-round performance which brought them a 2-1 win over Ħamrun Spartans.

 

Hibernians vs Gżira United (Sunday – National Stadium, 2pm)

 

The most attractive fixture of matchday 17 is the top-of-the-table encounter between joint-leaders Hibernians and second-placed Gżira United.

 

With only 10 matches remaining, both teams are aware of the importance of this game for their title aspirations.

 

Hibernians are sharing top spot with Valletta, three points ahead of Gżira United who are the only unbeaten team in the BOV Premier League. However, the Maroons are coming from three successive draws.

 

The Paolites have Marcelo Dias and Isaac Toah Ntow suspended while coach Stefano Sanderra will complete his two-match touchline ban.

 

Wing-back Joseph Mbong returns from suspension while the Maroons are still without Senegalese striker Amadou Samb who is recovering from a long-term injury

 

The first-round match between Gżira United and Hibs was a thrilling affair with the Maroons prevailing 3-2.

 

Birkirkara vs Floriana (Sunday – National Stadium, 4pm)

 

Another enticing encounter between two teams who need the points for different reasons.

 

Birkirkara, who lost 2-0 to Valletta, need a win to stay in the hunt for a top-four finish while Floriana face a must-win scenario as they look to improve their lowly position in the standings.

 

Danilo Chapoval is suspended for Birkirkara while Floriana will be without Tiago Galvao da Silva.

 

The Stripes won the first-round match 2-0.

 


  

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