Birkirkara and Mġarr United will take centre stage in this week’s slate of fixtures in the MFA Women’s League in the highly-anticipated top-of-the-table clash.
The Stripes and the Greens will be meeting for the second time this season, in a game that will be held at the Centenary Stadium on Wednesday (kick-off: 8.30pm).
In the corresponding fixture, both teams fired blanks in a thrilling 0-0 draw that left Birkirkara and Mġarr sharing the top spot.
They have recorded eight wins and one draw which means that the pressure on the shoulders of both teams increases every week. One tiny slip can dash the title hopes of either side.
“It’s true. When you are leading the standings you are always playing with a lot of pressure in order to avoid any potential slips,” Birkirkara’s Veronique Mifsud told the Times of Malta.
“That is why this season is very difficult because Mġarr’s competition to us means that we have to be at our best in every game.”
Birkirkara has outscored all teams with 43 goals in nine games, underlining the firepower in their attacking department which includes also the five goals scored by 18-year-old midfielder Mifsud.
Mifsud, who has eight caps at international level with Malta, was on the scoresheet for Birkirkara in their opening two games of 2022 – against Kirkop United and Raiders Lija.
“I try to do my best in every game whenever I don the colours of Birkirkara,” she explained.
“I find it very important for me to improve my performances week after week.
All the playing time that I am provided by my coach is beneficial for my growth because it helps me gain more experience while it injects confidence in myself.”
The young player pointed out that the more youths are given the chance to play in the senior league, the quicker they improve and adapt which will make it easier for them to showcase themselves.
The Stripes have several promising players in their side including Michela Felice, Mariah Cardona, Sara Saliba and Izabella Camilleri who all played a part last week against Raiders Lija. Lexine Farrugia, the scorer of a hat-trick against Swieqi United this season, is another gifted talent at the Stripes but is currently sidelined with an injury.
Their U-20’s side, with whom Mifsud plays as well, are currently leading the standings with 42 goals scored in 10 games which reflects the resourceful selections they have in every category.
Asked about what kind of game Birkirkara is expecting against fellow league challengers Mġarr, Mifsud said that the Greens will provide a stern test from every point of view.
“As a team, we have to be prepared both mentally and physically,” she underlined.
“We are wary of Mġarr’s potential at individual and collective level.
We are expecting a similar encounter like in the first round, meaning an intensive matchup and fairly balanced.”
THIS WEEK’S FIXTURES
TUESDAY – 20.30
Kirkop United vs Swieqi United, Centenary Stadium
Mtarfa vs San Ġwann, Mġarr Ground
WEDNESDAY – 20.30
Birkirkara vs Mġarr United, Centenary Stadium
MD11 bye: Raiders Lija.