Balzan Youths will be aiming for a positive result on Friday as they take on leaders Valletta in one of the two BOV Premier League matches in programme at the Victor Tedesco Stadium.
The Youths are currently sixth on 28 points, just one behind fourth-placed Sliema Wanderers and Birkirkara. However they lie just two points ahead of seventh-placed Qormi who are also fighting for a place in the Championship Pool.
Balzan rescued a points in a 2-2 draw with Floriana last week and with a draw against Valletta, they would make sure to go for the last match of the first phase, at least on level points with Qormi. The Youths lost just one of the last six games.
However Valletta cannot afford dropping any points although second-placed Hibernians will be facing third-placed Floriana this weekend and are therefore in for a difficult task. The Citizens have gone fifteen matches without defeat.
Jesmond Zerafa is expected to have the full squad at his disposal. Ivan Zammit, on the other hand, could not count on Clifton Ciantar and Nikola Tasic but Jonathan Francica and Pedro dos Santos Calcado will be back after serving a one-match ban.
In the first round, Valletta defeated Balzan 2-0.
Meanwhile in the first game, Mosta take on Mqabba. Two teams who share the eighth place on 20 points, four ahead of Tarxien Rainbows and Hamrun Spartans.
Mosta suffered a narrow 1-2 defeat to Hibernians after winning the previous two matches. Adrian Borg, Ian Zammit, Kurt Magro and Florent Raimy are all expected to be back after missing the last game.
Mqabba, on the other hand, were beaten 1-4 by Qormi. They welcome back Branislav Timotic but Mark Anthony Psaila is suspended.
In the first round, the two teams shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw.