Floriana’s title credentials will be put to a severe test on Saturday evening when the Greens take on Birkirkara in the weekend’s top clash at the National Stadium (kick-off: 6pm).
The Greens, under the charge of former Italy World Cup winner Mauro Camoranesi, were off to a brisk start last weekend when they breezed past Santa Lucia 4-0.
However, this time around, Floriana have the opportunity to gauge whether they are ready for a title challenge when they go up against a Birkirkara team who are ranked among the leading challengers for the domestic crown this season.
Birkirkara come into the match on the back of a hard-fought 1-0 win over Sliema Wanderers and coach Giovanni Tedesco is hopeful his players can build on their win over the Blues, urging his players to try and play with less pressure.
“Against Sliema Wanderers, the players looked tense and during the half-time interval I told the players to try and relax so they can express themselves better,” Tedesco told the Times of Malta.
“In the second half, the team started to play better and in the end, we managed to get the three points. I hope that now we can build on this win.”
On the other hand, Floriana looked quite impressive in their win over Santa Lucia but the real business starts tomorrow as the Greens desperately need a positive result if they are to send a statement of intent that they can challenge for the major honours this season.
Another intriguing encounter scheduled for this weekend is the clash between Valletta and Sliema Wanderers at the Tony Bezzina Stadium on Sunday.
The Citizens have started the season very well last weekend as they scored a goal in each half to see off Sirens.
Thane Micallef seems to have assembled a very competitive side this season and based on what was seen in their first outing, they are likely to be one of the teams that are capable of challenging for a place in Europe.
On Sunday, they will have their work cut out against a Sliema side who despite their defeat to Birkirkara have shown that they have what it takes to provide a strong challenge this season.
However, the Blues will certainly need to be sharper in attack as their profligacy cost them the three points against Birkirkara.
Champions Ħamrun Spartans start as firm favourites to maintain their 100 percent record when they face newly-promoted Naxxar Lions.
The Reds showed all their patience and quality when they outlasted Balzan 1-0 and should prove too strong for a Naxxar team who suffered a comprehensive 5-1 defeat to Marsaxlokk.
The weekend programme starts this evening when Mosta and Sirens will be on the lookout for their first win of the season when they face off at the Centenary Stadium.
Mosta could only manage a goalless draw against Gudja while Sirens were beaten by Valletta 2-0.
Mosta vs Sirens 19.00
Floriana vs Birkirkara 18.00
Ħamrun S. vs Naxxar L. 20.15
TONY BEZZINA STADIUM
Hibernians vs Sta Lucia 18.00
Balzan vs Gżira United 20.00
PLAYING ON SUNDAY
TONY BEZZINA STADIUM
Sliema W. vs Valletta 18.00
Gudja Utd vs Marsaxlokk 20.00
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