The Malta Independent 16 December 2019, Monday

BOV Premier League: League leaders Floriana hope to keep marching on by beating Hamrun

Henry Brincat Friday, 22 November 2019, 13:00 Last update: about 24 days ago

It should be another interesting weekend for local football enthusiasts as the campaign moves into the 11th round which is to be played over four days – between today and next Monday.

The top match this weekend is this evening’s clash at the National Stadium between league leaders Floriana and Hamrun.

Second placed Sirens the surprise revelation this season – take on lowly Gudja, while third placed Gzira face Senglea.

The other matches see five teams – Valletta, Balzan, Hibernians, Sliema and Birkirkara – aiming to confirm their return to winning form as Valletta face Mosta, Hibs come up against Balzan, Sliema meet Sta Lucia while Birkirkara take on bottom club Tarxien R.

 

TOP MATCH

Floriana are hoping to keep marching triumphantly at the top with another victory, this time against Hamrun Spartans.

The Greens are undoubtedly the most consistent team in the competition and certainly deserve their top standing, a good four points over second placed Sirens, five over 3rd placed Gzira and six over 4th placed Valletta.

Of course, it is still a bit early to make further predictions, but it is obvious that Floriana are aiming for the title this season.

Against Hamrun, the Greens are favourites to collect another three points, but they have to be on the alert as the Spartans, on their day, could offer very strong opposition.

However, if the Spartans want to achieve something positive from this game, they will have to play much better than they did in their last match against lowly Sliema when they surprisingly lost 2-0.

 

OTHER MATCHES

Sirens have a good chance of consolidating their surprise second placing as they take on lowly and fellow promoted side Gudja tomorrow.

The St Paul’s Bay side are certainly passing through a very bright patch in their first ever season in the Premier League.

But they will also have to be on alert as Gudja, another promoted side, are doing fairly well despite occupying a lowly position.

Third placed Gzira should be able to beat 9th placed Senglea on Monday.

The Yellow Reds, on their day, could be very dangerous opponents to any team, but in their last three matches, they have collected only one point.

Gzira were surprisingly defeated by Sirens in their last match as they lost their unbeaten record. But they should still be strong enough to overpower Senglea and collect the three points.

The Hibernians-Balzan match should be a very balanced encounter.

At present both teams occupy a mid-table placing and both will be expected to go all out to win the three points at stake.

Valletta, who have moved up to 4th place, though still a full six points behind leaders Floriana, should also register another win as they face Mosta.

The Blues lost their last two matches rather heavily – 3-1 against Floriana and 5-0 against Balzan. They certainly have to roll up their sleeves to be able to give the champions a good run for their money.

The other promoted side, Sta. Lucia, will be looking forward to return to winning form as they take on 13th placed Sliema.

This is considered to be a relegation match and, as such, both teams will be expected to battle for the three points to improve their position in the standings.

The same applies for Birkirkara and Tarxien who meet on Monday. The two sides, especially Tarxien with no points after 10 matches, are in the relegation zone, but I expect the Stripes to continue showing improvement after their 2-0 win against Sta. Lucia in their last game.

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