Balzan out to prove ‘a point’… Weekend’s preview

Friday, September 9, 2011, 20:13

by Joshua Cacciattolo

Joint leaders Birkirkara and rejuvenated Hibernians will be resuming their sporting rivalry at Ta’ Qali this evening when they meet in another top League clash this evening (kick-off 18.00).

The match heralds the re-start of the competition after the break allowed for the national team’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Croatia last week and Georgia last Tuesday.

At present, after all teams have played two matches, Valletta, Birkirkara and Floriana lead the standings with six points, while Sliema and Hibernians follow with just two points behind.

Coaches Patrick Curmi and Mark Miller have no selection problems as both are set to keep the momentum to challenge Valletta. Hibernians welcome back Jonathan Pearson after he missed the start of the season as Curmi also welcomes back Shaun Bajada. Left back Andrew Decesare is suspended after he was sent off in the 3-1 victory against Mosta.

On Saturday’s second Match Valletta take on Qormi at 20.00

The Citizens start as hot favourite to extended the 35 unbeaten run. Coach Jesmond Zerafa formerly a Qormi mentor will have Ryan Fenech out for the next three weeks after he dislocated his right shoulder in the Malta 1-1 draw against Georgia last Tuesday. Qormi coach Stephen Azzopardi has no selection problems and hopes his team will continue the positive run after the 3-0 win against Balzan Youths.

In Sunday’s first match Tarxien face Hamrun Spartans at the Corradino Stadium kick off at 18.00.

Neither club had a good start as both clubs are at the bottom of the standings. So far this season, the Rainbows have failed to lift their performances to the levels of last season and are still struggling for the first point.

Noel Coleiro’s side will have to show considerable improvement if they are to provide Hamrun with decent opposition.

Hamrun Spartans coach Jesmond Zammit has no selection problems but had try and lift his players’ morale after the team lost the protest against Balzan.

In the second match, Floriana and Sliema Wanderers will be aiming for a win, the Blues are on four points after two matches just two points behind joint leaders Floriana.

It is evident that Sliema will be all out to get the three points to leapfrog Floriana. The Greens will also be eyeing the three points in an effort to keep close to Valletta as much as possible. Both mentors have no selection problems although Sliema Wanderers this week heard the bad news that  President Steve Abela resigned from his post.

On Monday’s first match Balzan take on Mosta at the National Stadium on 18.00. Both clubs are searching the first three points on the field after Balzan won the protest aginst Hamrun Spartans and are on three points, while Oliver Spiteri’s side are in search for the first points.

Oliver Spiteri has no selection problems and could give the debut to his new defender as defenders Rudi Alininho and Kenneth Spiteri was released by the club. Balzan mentor Ivan Zammit have to cope without Pedro Calcado after he was sent off in 3-0 loss against Qormi.

The programme end with Marsaxlokk against Mqabba. The southsiders will starts hot favourites against Clive Mizzi’s squad as the Reds  are already finding it hard in the top flight. Marsaxlokk’s coach Winston Muscat will be without hard worker Trevor Tempelman as he was sent off in 2-1 defeat against Hibernians.

Fixtures

Date Team Team Stadium
10-9-11 Birkirkara Hibernians National Stadium
10-9-11 Valletta Qormi National Stadium
11-9-11 Tarxien R. Hamrun S. Corradino Stadium
11-9-11 Floriana Sliema W Corradino Stadium
12-9-11 Balzan Y. Mosta National Stadium
12-9-11 Marsaxlokk Mqabba National Stadium




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