Betting on the BOV Premier League

Who will hold the next premier league title? With the BOV Premier League season well underway, things are really hotting up...

With the BOV Premier League season well underway, things are really hotting up in the championship. Currently, the race to become the next premier league title holder is being led by Balzan, who have won three of their last five matches and drawn two.

However, they're hotly pursued by rival Hibernians, who have currently won all five of their last five games in an impressive winning streak and trail the leaders by a single point. In their BOV match against mid-table team, Sliema Wanderers, Hibernians managed to pull off an impressive 3-1 victory. Hibernians went into the lead just fifteen minutes into the game, thanks to a set piece free kick by Andrew Cohen and Jurgen Degabriele who managed to get the ball past the goalkeeper.

Valletta has also been having a good season in 2016, thanks mainly to their recent form where they haven’t lost a single game in their last five fixtures. Their most recent match with Mosta was, however, a disappointment, when the team failed to convert any opportunities against the struggling side, missing out on an important two extra points that would have brought them within striking distance of the championship leaders.

Neither team in the encounter was able to make significant inroads in the first half of the game, failing to test the abilities of either keeper. However, in the second half, Valletta managed to get the upper hand in terms of possession but was unable to get around Mosta’s well-organised defence. The draw means that Mosta is currently on their way up in the table, leapfrogging struggling Gzira United.

Perhaps the biggest shocker of the season so far was the astonishing comeback of Birkirkara against Tarxien Rainbows. Before going into the match, Birkirkara had not been on good form, despite a promising start to the season. They had drawn their previous two games to St Andrews and Floriana and lost to Hibernians, so it was expected before the match that they’d struggle, even though Tarxien is currently in the bottom half of the league. The pundit's expectations were initially proven correct, with Tarxien Rainbows taking the early lead. But soon Birkirkara was back on form and looking threatening. During the 50th minute, Dimitrov took a shot at goal from a free-kick, only to see his efforts go high. Then, later in the 73rd minute, Christian Bubalovic also took at punt at goal, only to see his effort veer wide of the post by a few centimetres.

It looked as if, despite Birkirkara’s efforts that it just wasn't going to be their day. But then finally, in the 82nd minute, they scored, thanks to a penalty kick converted by Vito Plut. Dimitrov scored the second goal just minutes later, and then a third from Matthew Tabone sealed up the match in the very last minute of official time.

Daniel Ponce De Leon Garcia of Tarxien Rainbows in action during their match against Floriana. Photo: Dominic Borg
Daniel Ponce De Leon Garcia of Tarxien Rainbows in action during their match against Floriana. Photo: Dominic Borg

Looking ahead….

On Saturday, 17th December, first and second place teams, Balzan and Hibernians will play off to decide who gets a place in the UEFA Champions League Qualifiers. If things in the Malta Premier League continue as they have done so far this season, we’re in for a tight race. Balzan and Hibernians are separated by a single point, with 13 games already played. The fixture between the two clubs on December 17, therefore, is vital to decide which of these teams will come out on top at the end of the season. Currently, the bookies have odds in favour of Hibernians winning the game, thanks to their winning streak over the past five games. It’s worth noting, however, that three more teams - Valletta, Birkirkara and Floriana - are just 5, 6 and 6 points respectively behind the championship leader, meaning that they all still have a shot at winning the title.

When it comes to goalscorer, Bojan Kaljevic of Balzan is dominating with a total of 13 goals. It’s hard to see how he can be caught, given the how well Balzan have been playing as a team all season, and how many goals he is ahead of the second place player, Jake Grech, who has only managed to rack up seven.

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