After missing out on the BOV Premier League title, Valletta will be all out to claim the U*BET FA Trophy for the twelfth time in the history of the club as they take on Qormi in the final on Sunday, kick-off at 17:00.
The Citizens reached the final twenty-three times, winning eleven and losing twelve. Last year, Valletta made it to the final but lost to Sliema Wanderers on penalties. Their last FA Trophy win goes back to 2001 when they defeated Birkirkara 3-0.
On the other hand, for Qormi, this is their first ever FA Trophy final. An important achievement for the club after finishing in joint-third place in the BOV Premier League together with Sliema Wanderers which is also the best ever placing for the team in the top division. The Yellows reached this stage after defeating Mqabba 3-0, St. Patrick 3-1, Hibernians 5-4 on penalties and Tarxien Rainbows 2-0.
Under the guidance of coach Vince Carbonaro, Qormi not only aim at winning the first major honour in the history of the club but also at securing a place in the UEFA Europa League this summer. By winning the competition, they would qualify as cup winners. However should they lose to Valletta, Qormi still stand a chance of making it to European football as should they beat Sliema Wanderers in a decider for third place on Monday 31.
But without any doubt, Valletta start as the favourites to lift the FA Trophy. The Citizens defeated Qormi four times this season in the four Premier League clashes. Valletta won 2-0 in the first round, 1-0 in the second, 3-0 in the third and 2-1 in the fourth round. To reach this stage, they beat Birkirkara 2-0 in the quarter-finals and Hamrun Spartans 6-5 on penalties in last Monday’s semi-final.
Valletta hope to finish the season on a positive note after failing to clinch the title in a season during which they also managed to win the National League 100 Anniversary Cup after beating Floriana 3-1. Whatever the result, Valletta will be playing in the UEFA Europa League this summer but should they qualify as cup winners, this could possibly mean starting from the second qualifying round rather than the first.
The Citizens welcome back Gilbert Agius and Edmond Agius who were ruled out through suspension but Jamie Pace and Jordi Cruijff are both recovering from injuries. Steve Bezzina will be missing after being sent off in the semi-final against Hamrun. Nigerian striker Alfred Effiong returns for Qormi after serving a one-match ban.
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