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Maltese title race goes down to the wire

Published: Thursday 2 May 2013, 11.25CET
The Maltese Premier League season reaches a tantalising denouement on Sunday, with title rivals Birkirkara FC and Hibernians FC locked on equal points at the summit.
by Domenic Aquilina
from Valletta
Maltese title race goes down to the wire
The prize at stake: the Maltese Premier League trophy ©Domenic Aquilina
Published: Thursday 2 May 2013, 11.25CET

Maltese title race goes down to the wire

The Maltese Premier League season reaches a tantalising denouement on Sunday, with title rivals Birkirkara FC and Hibernians FC locked on equal points at the summit.

Hoping to claim their first top-flight title since 2009, Hibernians FC lock horns with deposed champions Valletta FC on the final day of the season. They know that victory will, at the very least, set up a winner-takes-all showdown with fellow Maltese Premier League frontrunners Birkirkara FC on 11 May.

With goal difference counting for nothing, Hibernians and Birkirkara are inseparable at the summit on 42 points with one game remaining. The pressure may be mounting, yet neither team have shown signs of abating in recent weeks. While Birkirkara are buoyed by an eight-match unbeaten sequence, Hibs flexed their muscles in an eye-catching 6-0 defeat of Mosta FC last time out.

"We are indeed going through exciting times," said Birkirkara captain Gareth Sciberras, whose side can seize the initiative when they host Tarxien Rainbows FC on Saturday, 24 hours before Hibernians' nerve-jangling trip to Valletta.

"We have always believed in our ability and our performances have been the perfect response to any critics who gave us no hope at the start of the season. The atmosphere within the squad is very positive and, having come this far, there isn't one player in that dressing room who doesn't believe we can lift this title."

Hibernians' Malta schemer Clayton Failla is no stranger to the big occasion and has unwavering belief in his team's championship credentials. "The title is up for grabs so we might as well claim it!" he told UEFA.com. "Everyone knows how difficult a rival Birkirkara have been throughout the season but we are confident and ready for the occasion on Sunday and further down the line."

Whatever the outcome this weekend, Malta is primed for an enthralling finish. The tension is tangible, the margin for error is decidedly slim, and the stakes are high. Let the drama commence.

Last updated: 02/05/13 23.57CET

Related information

http://www.uefa.com/memberassociations/association=mlt/news/newsid=1946380.html#maltese+title+race+goes+down+wire

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