Leaders take on champions in weekend’s big clash

Leaders Valletta take on champions Birkirkara in this weekend’s big clash as the BOV Premier League will be back after a two-week break due to the national team’s EURO 2012 qualifier against Georgia.

This will be the third clash between Valletta and Birkirkara this season after meeting in the Euro Cup and the BOV Super Cup. In the Euro Cup, the Citizens registered a comfortable 3-0 win but in the Super Cup, they managed to defeat the Stripes by the odd goal in five thanks to a goal on the last minute on extra-time. A game which was followed by incidents in the VIP Area which led Birkirkara players and Valletta officials to be arraigned in court and eventually being handed bans by the Malta Football Association.

Four Birkirkara players were then in fact ruled out for two or more league matches due to this suspension. Suspensions which definitely affected the start of the Stripes’ Premier League campaign. They defeated Sliema Wanderers 4-1 but then lost 0-2 to Floriana. In their last outing, they returned to winning ways, beating Hibernians 2-1.

Valletta claimed seven points from the first three matches after defeating Vittoriosa Stars 3-0, being held in a 2-2 draw by Hibernians and narrowly defeating Qormi.

Roderick Briffa will be back for the Citizens after missing the last game. Captain Gilbert Agius and Kenneth Scicluna are still on their way to full recovery although they should make it to the bench.

For Birkirkara, defender Nikola Vukanac will be able to make his first league appearance on Friday after serving a three-match ban. Scottish goalkeeper Michael Fraser, on the other hand, will make his debut.

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