Gżira United will be facing Ħamrun Spartans on Saturday as the Premier League season run-in kicks on.
With nine games left, the third-placed Maroons will be keen to close the gap on leaders Ħamrun with a win as they are currently trailing them by four points.
Saturday’s direct clash could have a huge bearing on this season’s title race though Gżira coach Darren Abdilla has played down the idea of being decisive.
“I don’t think it will be decisive, but at the same time it will be an indicative one,” Abdilla told Times of Malta.
“After this game, there will still be 24 points at stake and a lot of direct encounters to be played which will define the outcome of the championship.”
Gżira are on the back of an 11-game unbeaten streak that kicked off with a 2-0 win over Balzan back in December.
Consistency has been key for the Maroons to get back on track and keep their titles hopes alive.
“We have been looking to be consistent and now we managed to find the right balance to maintain this positive momentum and keep winning games,” Abdilla explained.
Interestingly, Gżira boast the meanest defense with juts 17 goals conceded in 21 outings. Moreover, they have scored 48 goals – third best attack – meaning that the team has found the right balance between the defensive and offensive aspect of their gameplay.
“We have been scoring a lot of goals since the start, but during the first part of the season we were also conceding regularly,” Gżira coach Abdilla underlined.
“It’s not an issue of just improving our defensive line, but also of doing efficient things upfront as well.”
During the January transfer window, Gżira acquired the services of midfielder Steve Pisani who’s been a valuable addition for Abdilla’s clan.
The midfielder, who has already grabbed one assist at the club, will be a crucial player for the Maroons as they will battle Ħamrun’s central department, one of the most formidable in the league.
“Usually, who wins the midfield battle has a bigger chance to win the game. At the same time, all departments will play a key role against a strong team like Ħamrun,” the former Balzan player said.
Pisani, who is part of Devis Mangia’s national team, has also explained how he has integrated quickly with the team and that has helped him to find the right tune instantly.
“The team gave me a warm welcome and that helped to settle quickly,” he said.
“I have also been a starter despite arriving in late January and that has helped me to forge the right harmony with the team.”