Valletta FC strolled through the first qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League but things will be a little tougher on Tuesday when they welcome FK Partizan to the Hibernians Ground.
Partizan made it all the way from the second qualifying round to the group stage two seasons ago and have a perfect record at this stage, the exact opposite of the Maltese champions. However, Valetta are in fine fettle having made it through with a 9-0 aggregate defeat of Andorra's FC Lusitans. Eight of those goals came in the home first leg, four scored by Michael Mifsud.
Still showing the form that made him such a popular footballer in England with Coventry City FC and Barnsley FC, Mifsud is relishing testing himself against Serbia's finest. "Everyone knows that we have more famous opponents this time around," Mifsud told UEFA.com. "FK Partizan boast a football history which speaks for itself. Despite this, we all believe in ourselves and in our abilities so rest assured we will be giving it all in both legs."
The Citizens have won the last two Maltese titles and are already looking good this season with new Brazilian signings Jhonnattann, Jusselio Donizete and Ricardo Rocha blending well with compatriots Denni and William Barbosa. However, Mifsud captured the headlines against Lusitans, leaving him as the early competition joint top scorer alongside F91 Dudelange's Aurélien Joachim.
"Going into this two-legged tie as joint top scorer of the competition with Joachim of Dudelange means a lot to me," Mifsud said. "But I would like to credit my four goals to my wonderful team-mates, with whom I share all my goals."