Lincoln Red Imps v Europa FC
Saturday 14th January – 18:15
Live coverage from the Victoria Stadium @FGScoreCentre
Photo (C) JDK Photography
Europa go into their massive league fixture with Lincoln holding a one point lead over their biggest rivals, but noticeably a better goal difference than the Red Imps have.
Both teams started 2017 with big wins; Manchester fell to an 8-0 hammering by the Green and Blacks, while Lincoln stuck five past Glacis without conceding as Gibraltar’s two best teams reasserted their dominance locally.
Europa won the first fixture in the league between the two teams 1-0, and also beat Lincoln in the Pepe Reyes Cup; do they have the upper hand over the team who have dominated local football for so long?
Both teams will have strong teams out, with Europa boosted by the return of Liam Walker from suspension, while Lincoln have been very active in the transfer market – will we see any of Alain Pons, Tulio Etchemaite, Diego “Dieguito” Martinez or Fede Tobler involved, be it from the start or the bench?
The bookmakers have found it hard to split either team; understandable given how good they have both been this season. Back in October when Europa won 1-0, they were just over 3/1 to pick up all three points; today they are 29/20 to win and extend their lead at the top of the table to four points. Meanwhile, Lincoln are 27/20 to take back top spot and give themselves the upper hand in the league, while a draw, which would leave the question of who is winning the title hard to answer, is 5/2.
Man in the Middle:
Unsurprisingly, Jason Barcelo is entrusted with the big match. Gibraltar’s FIFA-listed referee was always going to be given the match and he has a big task on his hands to ensure that things run smoothly in a game that could potentially boil over given what’s at stake. A positive night for the officials will most likely be everyone forgetting who even officiated the game come full time, instead talking about what the players did on the pitch.
Football Gibraltar Prediction:
Neither team will want to lose this game and give their rivals a major boost in the title race, but with Europa currently one point clear, a draw would suit them more than it would Lincoln. While Europa have had the upper hand recently over their title rivals, we suspect that they may not be too disappointed should they only take a point from this game today. Whatever the end result, we should be in for a great game of football this evening.
Prediction: Lincoln 2-2 Europa FC