Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Top-of-the-table clashes as BOV Premier League returns
Nov 17, 2020
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Leagues
BOV Premier League
PHOTO:Joe Borg/MFA
PHOTO:Joe Borg/MFA

The 2020/21 BOV Premier League returns after the international break with another interesting programme featuring direct clashes between title hopefuls and teams fighting in the lower part of the standings.


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

 

A duel between two teams languishing in the bottom half of the standings.

 

Santa Lucia are in 10th position with eight points, four ahead of Lija Athletic who currently occupy the penultimate position.

 

Santa Lucia are strengthened by the return of midfielder Jamie Zerafa who served a one-match ban. Zerafa put in fine performances for the Malta Under-21 team in recent qualifiers.

 

Lija Athletic are not expected to have many changes in their team from the 2-0 defeat against Sirens.

 

Sirens vs Żejtun Corinthians (Friday – Centenary Stadium, 9.15pm)

 

Another intriguing fixture between two teams looking to make inroads into the upper half of the standings.

 

Sirens will be vying for back-to-back wins when they take on Żejtun Corinthians who are winless in their last three outings, collecting just one point in a goalless draw with Balzan. This result was followed with two narrow defeats against Gżira United (2-1) and Hibernians (3-2).

 

Żejtun are currently in 11th place, just one point above Sirens who have two games in hand.

 

Sirens will be without veteran forward Michael Mifsud, who recently concluded his remarkable international career for Malta, as the 39-year-old must serve a one-match ban.

 

Brazilian Anderson de Barros is set to return for Żejtun Corinthians after serving a one-match bam.

 

Gudja United vs Valletta (Saturday – Centenary Stadium, 2pm)

 

Valletta take on Gudja United who have improved further this season after their positive maiden campaign in the top flight in 2019-20.

 

This season under the guidance of coach Jesmond Zammit, Gudja are in fifth place with 13 points, two points more than Valletta who have a game in hand.

 

Valletta will be aiming to embark on a strong run to catch up with the early leaders and get their title challenge back on track.

 

Imanol Gonzalez will be missing due to suspension for Gudja United.

 

Valletta should have towering forward Kyrian Nwoko back in the fray after he recovered from injury. The Citizens have parted ways with Brazilian forward Taylon Marcolino.

 

Gżira United v Sliema Wanderers (Saturday – Hibernians Stadium, 2pm)

An interesting derby between Gżira United and Sliema Wanderers who are challenging at the top of the table. Sliema Wanderers are sharing top spot with Hibernians with Gżira only two points adrift, level with Ħamrun Spartans in second spot.

 

A gripping encounter is expected between these neighbouring teams who have high ambitions this season.

 

The Wanderers welcome back Riki Kakinuma from suspension while former Santa Lucia player Jackson Mendoza will serve a one-match ban for the Maroons. Forward Omar Elouni, who was on target for the Malta U-21 team in the defeat to Ukraine, returns from suspension for Gżira.

 

Hibernians vs Ħamrun Spartans – (Saturday – Hibernians Stadium, 6.15 pm)


This is another top-of-the-table clash as joint-leaders Hibernians take on Ħamrun Spartans with only two points separating the two sides.

 

Before the international break, Hibernians edged out Żejtun Corinthians 3-2 while Ħamrun Spartans featured in a 2-2 draw against Gżira United.


Both sides will be without one of their regular defenders as Hibernians’ Ferdinando Apap and Ħamrun Spartans centre-half Elkin Serrano Valero must serve a one-match ban.

 

Balzan vs Floriana (Sunday – Centenary Stadium, 2pm)


Balzan face Floriana on Sunday with the latter resuming their league campaign after a long break as their fixture against Birkirkara before the international window had to be rescheduled due to COVID-19.

 

In their last outing, Floriana obtained 2-1 win over Gudja United.

 

Balzan will be looking to bounce back from their 3-1 defeat to Sliema Wanderers. Both teams are eyeing the three points to keep pace with the leading sides in this fledgling league campaign.

 

Senglea Athletic vs Mosta (Sunday – Centenary Stadium, 6.15 pm)

 

Bottom side Senglea Athletic meet Mosta who currently occupy a mid-table position.

 

The Blues claimed narrow 1-0 win over Santa Lucia in their last league outing while Senglea, now under the charge of experienced coach Clive Mizzi, produced a commendable performance in a narrow 2-1 loss to Valletta.

 

No doubt, Senglea will be going all out to obtain their first win which could kickstart their campaign but they will be coming up against a determined Mosta side who have done well so far this season.

 

Keeper Matthew Farrugia returns from suspension for Senglea.

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