The destination of the BOV Premier League trophy for season 2013/14 will be known this afternoon as Birkirkara and Valletta cross swords in a decisive clash for the title. Lying two points ahead of their rivals and therefore needing just a draw, leaders Birkirkara may start as favourites to retain the title won last season but anything could happen in the ninety minutes.
This clash is a repeat of another decisive match for the title between Birkirkara and Valletta at the end of season 1997/98 when the Stripes were still chasing their first championship. They led by one point and therefore only needed a draw. However Valletta emerged as winners Stefan Giglio put Valletta ahead but Ivan Zammit levelled matters for Birkirkara before Joe Zarb converted a penalty to hand the Citizens the title in front of a packed National Stadium.
The two teams were the most consistent throughout the league campaign. Birkirkara managed an excellent run of thirteen consecutive wins between October and January while Valletta remained unbeaten in 2014 as they come from a positive run of fifteen matches. The Stripes boast of the best forward line, scoring seventy-six goals in thirty-one matches, four more than Valletta. The Citizens, on the other hand, conceded the least number of goals – twenty-one, two less than Birkirkara.
In the direct encounters in the previous rounds, both registered a win with the other game ending in a draw. In the first round, Birkirkara registered a narrow 1-0 win. Valletta bounced back with a 2-1 win in the second round to end the Stripes’ impressive run of thirteen wins while the third round clash ended in a goalless draw.
For Valletta, this would be the 22nd title in the history of the club while for Birkirkara, this would be the fifth championship and the third one in five years.
Photo: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar