Preview: Day 22 Valletta vs Floriana Published on: 10-03-2011
Preview Day 22 Valletta vs FlorianaAnother Derby has arrived, earlier this week Valletta FC.net met team manager Jesmond Zammit.
‘Here comes a game of double importance. The first and most important reason being that winning this game will probably mean that we are 95 pct THERE, and the second relates to the fact that Floriana's matches remain the most awaited by Valletta supporters for known reasons’.
‘Our boys are totally focused on this game knowing that a win will start releasing the pressure that the halving of the points has brought about. Floriana are the current runners up trailing us by 7 points. That says it all. Knowing that the teams in third and fourth place (Marsaxlokk and Birkirkara) will be facing each other this weekend, a victory over Floriana would mean that the gap to the second in command would widen up further. On the other hand, losing this game would mean that Floriana would close the gap down to four points, which is obviously, what we want to avoid at this stage. Placing the cork on the bottle is what I compare this game to. A marvellous season should be sealed with a magnificent display, coincidentally against these all time rivals next Sunday. A victory would give us more time and strength to concentrate on our Trophy match against Hibernians, the following week’.
‘Floriana, now under the helm of coach Michael Woods , are expected to have all their soldiers at their disposal for this battle. A probable formation would see Saidi in goal, Pisani, Farrugia, Said and Mano Micallef in defence, Doffo, Paris, Cassar and Woods in midfield with Nwoke and Draganov up front’.
‘Meantime, Valletta will have to face this difficult encounter without Malta International duo Roderick Briffa (still nursing a hamstring injury which he picked up in last weekend's match) and Jamie Pace who received his marching orders against Birkirkara. Ryan Fenech will be back from suspension whilst Omonigho Temile is also fully recovered from a toe injury which had troubled him the previous week, and will also form part of the squad for this game. Ramon dos Santos’ prolific display against the Stripes last week is expected to guarantee a definite presence at the back four, in a team which will probably not see many changes from the first eleven fielded against Birkirkara. Our boys' morale is now back in heaven, and in training this week, one could see the total concentration and aggressiveness which proves the fact that our players are determined to give the President, Committee members and Supporters, the long awaited gift which has tortured a lot of individuals for the past two years’.
‘Floriana are now coming from a positive patch . They are aware that only a win would bring them back to contention for the title race. They Greens will give all that they are worth to try and stop our run of 26 undefeated league matches, which is now eleven matches away from matching the National record which Hibernians managed to compile in the early 1980's. We shall again have to be at our very best to secure all three points at stake. Being slightly selfish, and purely from a technical point of view, most important is to maintain the unbeaten run on Sunday. Drawing this match would mean that we remain 6 or 7 clear points on second place, which is also quite good at this very crucial point in time. But being Floriana and knowing the potential strength and might of our team, we shall, as usual field an offensive approach to this game to try and bring an end to the hopes of ALL THOSE WHO WOULD SIMPLY LOVE TO SEE US LOSE THE LEAGUE AGAIN THIS SEASON’.
‘One last word to our beloved supporters, who I am sure, will be present at Ta Qali in numerous amounts next Sunday. The first thing I do as I go out onto the pitch is look back to ensure that the NUMBER IS THERE BEHIND US. We rely and depend on your support and love for the Club, so please make sure that you give us the necessary help, especially when desperately needed. Avoiding hefty fines from the Administration should meantime remain ITEM NUMBER ONE on the agenda’.
‘On behalf of my colleagues I would like to thank you all so much for giving us all a heartfelt hug at the VIP exit, after what seemed a never ending ninety minutes last Saturday. It was simply gorgeous, and orchestrated in a way that only you Valletta supporters know how to compose. I really look forward to joining the players and the Technical staffs in clapping our hands in appreciation for all that you do for us at 1745 hrs on Sunday 13th. See you there and thanks a real lot from the bottom of my heart’.