Birkirkara hope to return to winning ways as Hibs aim at extending positive run

tarxien-sliema140816After suffering defeats in their last outings, Birkirkara and Sliema Wanderers will be hoping to bounce back with a win as they face Pietà Hotspurs and Tarxien Rainbows on Saturday when the BOV Premier League resumes after the break due to the national teams’ commitments.

Leaders Hibernians seek the eleventh win in twelve matches as they host Floriana while Zebbug Rangers take on Balzan.

Zebbug Rangers vs Balzan, kick-off 14:00 at Hibernians Stadium
Bottom-placed Zebbug Rangers continue to chase their first win in the BOV Premier league as they take on Balzan. The Rangers lost seven of the eleven matches and are coming from a 0-2 defeat to Valletta in their last outing.

Balzan, on the other hand, seem to have lost the winning touch after going five matches without a win – three draws and two defeats in their last two outings – 0-2 to Valletta and 0-3 to Hibernians. A win is a must in order to move back on track.

Clive Brincat and Luke Sciberras are ruled out through suspension for Balzan but Osa Ice-Cream Guobadia and Justin Grioli will be back after serving a one-match ban. Thomas Paris is suspended for Zebbug who have lost Javi Diaz who moved back to Spain.

In the first round, Balzan defeated Zebbug 4-2.

Hibernians vs Floriana, kick-off 16:00 at Hibernians Stadium
Leaders Hibernians hope to continue their triumphant march at the top of the BOV Premier League table with a win which would ensure they stay at least ten points clear of second-placed Birkirkara. The Paolites scored no less than nine goals while maintaining a clean sheet in the last three matches – a 1-0 win over Birkirkara, a 5-0 win over Mosta and a 3-0 win over Balzan.

Floriana’s morale is high after winning two of the last three matches – including a 2-1 win over Birkirkara in their last outing. Another positive result would enable them to climb further in the BOV Premier League table.

Brooke Farrugia will be back for the Greens after serving a suspension.

Hibernians beat Floriana 3-0 in the first round.

Pietà Hotspurs vs Birkirkara, kick-off 14:00 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
After losing three out of the last five matches, nothing would satisfy Birkirkara other than a win over Pietà Hotspurs. They lost 1-2 to Floriana which saw them fall ten points behind leaders Hibernians.

The Hotspurs, on the other hand, are currently second from bottom although they lost just one of the last five matches and are coming from a goalless draw with Qormi.

Ryan Scicluna is suspended but Rafael Ledesma will be back after missing the last game through suspension. Dylan Agius returns for Pietà after serving a one-match ban.

In the first round, Birkirkara defeated Pietà 2-1.

Sliema Wanderers vs Tarxien Rainbows, kick-off 16:15 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
Sliema Wanderers and Tarxien Rainbows are both eager to return to winning ways after disappointing in recent outings. The Wanderers were held in a draw by Balzan before suffering defeats to Birkirkara and Naxxar. The Rainbows, on the other hand, earned just two points from the last four matches after draws with Hibernians and Floriana and suffering defeats to Qormi and Mosta.

Filippo Andrea Scozzese and Paltemio Barbetti are suspended for Sliema but Andrea Pisani returns after serving a suspension.

In the first round, Sliema and Tarxien shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw.