Precious points at stake in derbies

Precious points will be at stake in the two direct clashes from BOV Premier League matches in programme at the Centenary Stadium on Wednesday.

In the first match, kick-off at 17:00, Gudja United face Santa Lucia in a clash between two teams lying joint-second from bottom with Mosta.

Santa Lucia earned two points from their last three matches thanks to draws with Balzan and Gzira, losing to Floriana. They won their last game against Birkirkara in November. Gudja, on the other hand, are coming from a 1-2 defeat to Hibernians after beating Mosta 3-0 and a goalless draw with Sirens.

This month, Gudja revamped their squad with the signing of a number of foreign players, including Juan Bolanos, Matias Muchardi, James Arthur, Nika Dzalamidze, Ahinga Bienvenu Selemani, Tatsuro Nagamatsu and Ndue Mujeci. On the other hand, Santa Lucia secured the services of Justin Haber and Meghon Valpoort. Santa Lucia could not count on the suspended Gianmarco Conti and Victor Luiz Prestes Filho while Farid Romero Zuniga is ruled out through suspension for Gudja.

In the first round, the two teams shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw.

Meanwhile in the second match, kick-off at 21:00, Birkirkara take on Balzan.

Two points separate the two teams with Birkirkara sharing fourth place with Gzira United and Valletta and Balzan, just one point behind them, sharing the seventh place with Sirens. However both Birkirkara and Balzan have two games in hand.

The Stripes hope to return to winning ways after obtaining two draws from their last two outings – 0-0 with Valletta and 2-2 with Mosta, winning just one match from the last six matches. Balzan, on the other hand, won four out of their last six matches, defeating Valletta 2-1 in their last outing after dropping five points in a defeat to Hibernians and a draw with Santa Lucia.

Both sides could field some new faces after Balzan acquired Nikola Gulan and Alvin Daniels while Birkirkara secured the services of goalkeeper Luca Savelloni and Ngissah Bismark. However Birkirkara’s Ryan Scicluna and Balzan’s Sean Cipriott are ruled out through suspension.

In the first round, Birkirkara defeated Balzan 2-1.

Wed 19-Jan-2022Santa Lucia FC vs Gudja United FC17:00Centenary Stadium
Wed 19-Jan-2022Birkirkara FC vs Balzan FC21:00Centenary Stadium