The second phase of the BOV Premier League gets underway on Friday with the first two matches from the Relegation Pool at the Victor Tedesco Stadium.
In the first game, Marsaxlokk and Qormi face each other for the second time in a week.
The Yellow-Blacks failed to impress in the 2-1 win over the Southseasiders but they are now expected to be all out in search of the three points which would keep them away from the danger zone.
Marsaxlokk failed to claim any points in the last ten matches but now that points have been halved for the beginning of the second phase, they are expected to aim for a positive result as they now lie just three points behind Tarxien. However their performance needs to improve considerably.
Coach Anton Cremona is unable to field his best formation as captain Trevor Templeman is suspended. For Qormi, Joseph Chetcuti will be back after serving a one-match ban but Roderick Sammut is still ruled out through suspension. Brazilian midfielder Caio Garcia Suguino is no longer in squad after the club was forced to release him.
In the first phase, Qormi defeated Marsaxlokk twice – 3-1 and 2-1.
In the second match, Tarxien Rainbows and Mqabba both aim at return to winning ways after disappointing in recent outings. Mqabba start the second phase with ten points, one ahead of the Rainbows, but they are coming from three consecutive defeats.
The Rainbows suffered two defeats to Birkirkara and Balzan but a win on Friday would put them in second place in the Relegation Pool, on level points with Mosta.
The Reds welcome back no less than four players, namely David Fenech, Kris Calleja, Mauro Bonnici and Mark Anthony Psaila, who were all ruled out through suspension in the heavy defeat to Hibernians last Saturday. Justin Grioli is back after serving a two-match ban but defender Everton Antonio Pereira starts the first of his two-game ban.
Tarxien beat Mqabba 3-2 in the first round while the second round clash ended in a 1-1 draw.
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