The Malta Independent 29 February 2020, Saturday

BOV Premier League: Leading trio face tough matches in round 4 at weekend

Henry Brincat Friday, 20 September 2019, 13:30 Last update: about 6 months ago

The Bank of Valletta Premier League continues with the fourth round of matches this weekend between today and Sunday.

Once again we have an interesting programme of matches which promise a lot of entertainment.

The programme starts today with the Mosta-Birkirkara clash. Tomorrow, four matches will be played: Hamrun-Sirens; Sliema-Gudja; Hibernians-Senglea and Balzan-Valletta. On Sunday it will be Santa Lucia-Tarxien R. and Floriana-Gzira.

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At present, Sirens, Senglea and Floriana are at the top of the standings with seven points each. They are followed by Santa Lucia and Hamrun on 5, Hibernians, Valletta and Balzan on 4, Mosta, Gudja and Gzira 3, Birkirkara and Sliema 1 and Tarxien 0.

 

TOP CLASHES

The matches involving the three current leaders are obviously the top clashes of the round.

The surprising Sirens and Senglea as well as Floriana, will all be facing tough clashes.

Sirens will be meeting Hamrun in the first match at the Centenary Stadium tomorrow.

It should be a keenly contested game with the Spartans obtaining a first seasonal win the past weekend when beating Tarxien Rainbows 3-2.

On that day, Hamrun still found it difficult to beat the 10-man Tarxien and had to rely on a late penalty to make sure of the three points.

On their part, the St Paul's Bay side is writing history with every match they are playing. Who ever thought that Steve D'Amato's newly-promoted side would be leading the Premier League after three rounds and are still unbeaten, having collected two wins and a draw?

Senglea must be relishing this moment, although they are not newly promoted to the Premier League. But it is to their merit that they have also collected seven precious points from their opening three matches - two wins and a draw.

Tomorrow's opponents are Hibernians who will be eager to return to winning form after suffering a big setback with the 2-1 defeat at the hands of Sirens.

Floriana, on their part, have also been doing well, considering that it has been such a long time since this once glorious club had been at the helm of local soccer.

After their 1-1 draw against arch rivals Valletta, the Greens now face another tough obstacle in the form of Gzira United.

The Maroons have only three points at the moment - three draws, two of them goalless. They need to get that morale-boosting win to start moving up the standings as was the case the past two seasons.

 

BALANCED MATCH

The game between Balzan and Valletta must be considered as another key clash in this round as the citizens are passing through a tough time.

First they came up against Floriana and just managed a draw with an equaliser in the final seconds of the match. Now they face Balzan, and next week they meet another tough rival in the form of Birkirkara.

Balzan also had to come from behind to snatch a point from Birkirkara with a late goal by goalkeeper Naumovski.

The two teams are lying in mid-table and are well aware that a victory will keep them close to the leading clubs.

 

OTHER MATCHES

Santa Lucia, another surprise package from last year's First Division, will be hoping to return to winning form after two consecutive draws.

Oliver Spiteri's side just missed out on a second win when held to a 1-1 draw by fellow Premier debutants Gudja last week.

Now they take on bottom club Tarxien Rainbows who must feel embarrassed lying at the bottom of the standings with no points from three matches.

Birkirkara, who won their first point in that thrilling 3-3 draw with Balzan last week, now face Mosta who have suffered two consecutive defeats.

The Stripes showed improvement in the match against Balzan, but they also are badly in need of a morale-boosting first win to give their fans something to shout about.

Finally, Sliema will also have to be at their very best to try and get the three points against newly-promoted Gudja.

The latter have done well considering they are complete newcomers to the Premier Division. So far, they have collected three draws and therefore have three points, apart from still being unbeaten.

 

Programme

 

Today

Centenary Stadium

Bank of Valletta Premier League

7pm Mosta-Birkirkara.

 

Victor Tedesco Stadium

Bank of Valletta First Division

6pm Zebbug R.-Swieqi U.

8.15pm Mqabba-Lija Ath.

 

Tomorrow

Centenary Stadium

Bank of Valletta Premier League

6pm Hamrun S.-Sirens

8.15pm Sliema W.-Gudja U.

 

National Stadium

Bank of Valletta Premier League

6pm Hibernians-Senglea Ath.

8pm Balzan-Valletta.

 

Victor Tedesco Stadium

Bank of Valletta First Division

6pm Qormi-Fgura U.

8.15pm Naxxar L.-Pieta H.

 

Sta Lucia Ground

IASC Second Division

8.30am Cospicua D.-B'Kara SJ

9.45am Qrendi S.-Floriana A.

11am Rovers U.-Zurrieq W.

 

Sunday

National Stadium

Bank of Valletta Premier League

6pm Santa-Lucia-Tarxien R.

8pm Floriana-Gzira U.

 

Centenary Stadium

Bank of Valletta First Division

6pm Qrendi-St George's

8.15pm St Andrews-Zejtun C.

 

Sta Lucia Ground

IASC First Division

8.30am B'Buga T.-Mgarr F.

9.45am Senglea Y.-Zejtun RS

11am Mosta G.-Marsa T.

 

Monday

Victor Tedesco Stadium

Bank of Valletta First Division

7pm Pembroke Ath.-Vittoriosa S.

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