Hibernians will be aiming to return to winning ways on Saturday as they take on neighbours Tarxien Rainbows in the derby in one of the two matches in programme at the National Stadium.
The Paolites dropped five points in the last two matches in a defeat to Balzan Youths and a draw with leaders Valletta. A win is therefore a must in order to keep the pace with the leaders while staying in second place ahead of Floriana.
Tarxien, on the other hand, hope to upset their rivals but considering their recent form – five defeats out of the last six matches, this would definitely be no easy task. They are currently second from bottom on 13 points, two ahead of wooden-spoonists Marsaxlokk, after losing 1-2 to Mosta last week.
To make matters worse for the Rainbows, Orosco Anonam and Ricardo Costa are ruled out through suspension. Hibs, on the other hand, welcome back Marcelo Dias and have been strengthened with the signing of former Sliema midfielder Jackson Lima Sequeira.
In the first round, Hibernians registered a 2-0 win.
Meanwhile in the first game, Floriana take on Qormi.
Floriana, who won five out of the last seven matches, lie two points behind Hibernians and are coming from a comfortable 4-0 win over Marsaxlokk. On Saturday, they will be all out to extend their positive run with a win over Qormi.
Qormi returned to winning ways last week but the loss of captain Joseph Farrugia, together with Jonathan Bondin, – both ruled out through suspension – makes things difficult for Stephen Azzopardi’s side. Before defeating Hamrun Spartans 3-0 last week, Qormi had suffered three defeats in the previous three matches when Joseph Farrugia was absent as he was recovering from an injury. They are currently sixth on 23 points, three behind Birkirkara and Sliema but just two ahead of Balzan Youths.
Pablo Doffo and Christian Caruana will be back for Floriana after missing the last game.
In the first round, Floriana and Qormi shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw.
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