Preview - Day 02 Valletta vs Mosta Published on: 26-08-2016
Coach Paul Zammit is convinced that the gruelling nature of Valletta’s 2-1 opening victory over sliema Wanderers last week will stand the champions in good stead for the remainder of the season.
As he readies his team for another potentially tricky encounter with mosta tonight, Zammit has declared himself pleased with Valletta’s spirited second-half rally which culminated in Roderick Briffa’soutstandingwinner.
“Although, from the outside, many might think that we were not satisfied with our performance against sliema, the reality is different,” Zammit told the Times of Malta.
“We played against a very organised team. We made a very positive start but we lost our rhythm due to our struggles to hold possession and Sliema duly took advantage of that.
“i was very pleased with our reaction in the second half. Our approach was much better than in the first period and this enabled us to turn the result in our favour.
“For the first game, we can be satisfied because we overcame a difficult hurdle. We now have to look forward to the upcoming tests.”
Captain Jonathan Caruana is back in the frame for Valletta after missing the Sliema clash for family reasons.
Zammit can also rely on argentine striker Federico Falcone who has recovered from a quad injury.
“Falcone is available for selection as he has been training normally,” the Valletta coach said.
On paper, Valletta have a distinct edge over a much-changed mosta but the latter produced a fighting display in their opening clash with Balzan, going down 3-2.
“i’ve watched Mosta play a couple of times in the close season,” Zammit said.
“They are a team who can be very compact in defence but can cause a lot of problems on the counter. It’s going to be another difficult game.”
Mosta coach Edmond Lufi wants his team to build on their tenacious display against Balzan.
“Although we didn’t take anything from our first game, one thing i was very pleased about was that, at 2-0 down, my players kept going,” Lufi, who took over from Ivan Zammit in the close season, said.
“The team showed character and could easily have gained a point as we played as good as Balzan.
“Our approach was very positive and this augurs well for our next match which will be very hard as we are playing against the champions.
“Valletta are strong in every area but we’re preparing for this challenge in a way that should help us make maximum use of our qualities.”
The arrival of Njongo Priso is a boost for Mosta who have over- hauled their squad this summer, offloading virtually all their established players, the likes of goalkeeper Omar Borg, defenders
Tyrone Farrugia and Adrian Borg, and wing-back Dyson Falzon.
Priso, who joins a legion of new foreigners at Mosta, had signed a deal with Cypriot club ermis aradippou but the move fell through over financial issues.
The Cameroonian winger will be hoping to make his Mosta debut against former club Valletta as he looks to put his career back on track after a somewhat disappointing stint with Sliema Wanderers in the second half of last season.
Mosta are without Canadian defender tristan Grant who picked up a groin injury in the Balzan game last Saturday.
Source - Times of Malta