Matthew Abela and Samuel Cassar met with Ben Camille in this week’s edition of GAME ON and spoke about their experiences of practising the sport of badminton on a professional basis abroad.
Abela, who last year represented Malta at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, spent three years in Denmark and said that it was a huge experience for his career.
“It was always my dream of spending a year or two outside Malta and train badminton on a professional basis,” Abela said.
“The opportunity came about when Badminton Europe announced that they were opening applications for players from small countries to train in academies in Denmark. I applied immediately and I had to attend a number of selection camps and luckily, I was selected.
“I was really looking forward for this opportunity as I knew that it was an opportunity of a lifetime that I may not have again in the near future.”
On his part, Samuel Cassar also had an opportunity to train abroad.
“Training professionally abroad ranks as the highlight of my career so far,” Cassar said.
“I had the opportunity to meet new people and also some stars on the way.”
Asked what his biggest achievement was so far in his career, Cassar said: “It has to be six years ago when I took part in a small tournament in Italy. For us, it was pretty unusual as we are not used to play tournaments abroad.
“It was a great experience as I managed to win the men’s doubles and also placed third in the men’s singles.
Hottest games predictions
The challenge between Ben Camille and Times of Malta Sports Editor Valhmor Camilleri is heating up, as they continue trying to predict the results of the hottest games happening this weekend.
How did they do last week?
Last week, Ben Camille managed to bridge the gap when he managed to guess the outcome of two matches, Liverpool vs Chelsea, that finished in a draw after 90 minutes, and Napoli’s win over Lazio in the Serie A to pick up 20 points.
Valhmor Camilleri, on the other hand guessed that the Maltese Premier League match between Hibernians and Ħamrun Spartans would end in a draw.
Total Scores after week 7
In the overall standings, Valhmor Camilleri still leads the way with 300 points while Ben Camille is trailing with 210 points.
We will keep you updated with a tally of their scores every week. A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth 10 points. The exact score earns 40 points.
Manchester City vs Man. United (Sunday at 17.30)
Manchester United make the short trip to Premier League leaders Manchester City on Sunday buoyed by their recent record at the Etihad Stadium.
Even though they are now indisputably the top dogs in Manchester, City have had real problems beating United on their own turf in recent years.
The Premier League champions have won just one of their past seven home games in all competitions against United – in sharp contrast to their impressive record at Old Trafford.
Both teams need the three points on Sunday, with leaders City seeking to keep Jurgen Klopp’s charging Liverpool at arm’s length and United’s top-four hopes looking shaky.
City, who tend to dominate possession, have been caught out in recent years by United’s pace on the break and Pep Guardiola will be wary of the threat posed by players such as Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford.
Ben Camille’s prediction: Man. City vs Man. United 1-1
Valhmor Camilleri’s prediction: Man. City vs Man. United 2-0.
Liverpool vs West Ham (Saturday at 18.30)
Liverpool’s quest to catch Premier League leaders Manchester City takes a vital step on Saturday with the visit of West Ham.
David Moyes’ Hammers claimed a 3-2 win at a fiery London Stadium earlier in this season, in a match which proved controversial from a Reds point of view.
That broke a barren run of almost five years without a victory over Liverpool for West Ham, who are right in the mix for a top-four finish. Having been knocked out of the FA Cup in midweek, Moyes will be looking for an immediate reaction at Anfield as they look to pile on the pressure on fourth-placed Man. United.
Jurgen Klopp’s side had no such trouble against Norwich on Wednesday and can cut City’s lead to three points before the Manchester derby.
Ben Camille’s prediction: Liverpool vs West Ham 2-0.
Valhmor Camilleri’s prediction: Liverpool vs West Ham 1-0.
Napoli vs Milan (Sunday at 20.45)
Napoli and AC Milan face off on Sunday night as another instalment of a thrilling Serie A title race unfolds on the bay of Naples.
Chasing a first league crown since the days of Diego Maradona, a sold-out stadium which bears their hero’s name will host two teams locked on 57 points, with Napoli holding top spot on goal difference from Milan.
Sunday’s clash harks back to Maradona’s time, a win for star-studded Milan in Naples in 1988 allowing Arrigo Sacchi to move above Napoli and win his one and only Serie A title.
The outcome could be crucial for both teams’ title hopes as it is head-to-head record which decides who among teams on the same points finishes higher in the table once all fixtures are played between them.
Luciano Spalletti’s team are hosting the season’s last match between the league’s top three, with champions Inter two points behind but with a game in hand.
Napoli beat Milan at the San Siro in December, meaning a draw hands them the advantage over Stefano Pioli’s side. But whoever wins on Sunday would ensure themselves the best record between all three should the trio end the campaign on the same points.
Ben Camille’s prediction: Napoli vs Milan 0-1.
Valhmor Camilleri’s prediction: Napoli vs Milan 0-0.
Do you reckon you can beat Ben and Valhmor? Let us know your predictions for this weekend’s hottest matches in the comments below.
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