Precious points will be at stake on Friday as Mqabba take on Qormi and Sliema Wanderers face Hamrun Spartans in the two matches in programme at the Victor Tedesco Stadium.
Qormi will be hoping to bring to an end their disappointing run as they take on Mqabba in an almost do-or-die clash for Stephen Azzopardi’s side. Qormi lost six of the last seven matches, losing to Floriana, Mosta and Hibs in their last three matches and lie four points behind sixth-placed Balzan Youths with three games to go for the end of the first phase.
Therefore a win is a must for Qormi as this would put them just one point behind Balzan, putting the pressure on the First Division champions.
However their task will be no easy one as Mqabba collected four points in their last two outings thanks to a draw with Tarxien and a win over Hamrun. They now eye another three points to move seventh, on level points with Qormi.
For Qormi, Jorge Pereira da Silva will be back after serving a two-match ban. On the other hand, Mqabba defender Branislav Timotic is ruled out through suspension.
In the first round, Mqabba defeated Qormi 1-0.
Meanwhile in the second match, Sliema Wanderers will be aiming at returning to winning ways as they take on Hamrun Spartans.
The Wanderers are currently fifth but collected just two points from the last three matches. With a win, they would move closer to securing a place in the Championship Pool. Sliema welcome back Danial Mitev who missed the last two games but Josef Mifsud and Clifford Gatt Baldacchino are both ruled out through suspension.
Following the resignation of coach Jesmond Zammit, Hamrun Spartans have appointed Stefan Sultana as their new coach and the Spartans will be doing their best to impress and end their winless streak. They lie second from bottom, on level points with Tarxien Rainbows. Hamrun lost four of the last five matches, collecting the only point in a draw with Mosta.
In the first round, Hamrun defeated Sliema 4-2.