After losing to Birkirkara last Sunday, leaders Balzan will be all out to return to winning ways on Saturday as they take on Hamrun Spartans in one of the four matches in programme at the Victor Tedesco Stadium and the Hibernians Stadium.
Birkirkara aim at closing further in on the leaders with a win over Gzira United, Valletta target the three points from the clash with Tarxien Rainbows while Mosta and Floriana cross words in the other match.
Gzira United vs Birkirkara, kick-off 15:00 at Hibernians Stadium
Following a fine 3-0 win over leaders Balzan in their last outing, Birkirkara hope to continue where they had left with another win over Gzira United who are coming from a 1-3 defeat to Valletta and are currently in joint-eighth place after collecting just one point from the last three matches. The Stripes, on the other hand, are currently second, three points behind the leaders and two ahead of Hibernians and Valletta.
Earlier this week, the Maroons released Robert Pinho de Souza and is currently in negotiations with Joceano da Silva Santos to terminate his contract while Liliu is no longer a Gzira player as his registration has been cancelled. Jamie Azzopardi is once again set to start in goal as goalkeeper Jurgen Borg is recovering from an injury. Birkirkara, on the other hand, welcome back Predrag Jovic after serving a one-match ban.
Valletta vs Tarxien Rainbows, kick-off 17:00 at Hibernians Stadium
After returning to winning ways with a 3-1 win over Gzira last week, Valletta target another win as they take on Tarxien Rainbows in order to keep the pace with Balzan and Birkirkara. The Rainbows, on the other hand, were held in a 1-1 draw with Mosta and are currently joint-third from bottom after collecting just two points from the last three matches.
Dziugas Bartkus is set to start in goal for Valletta as Henry Bonello serves a three-match ban. Roderick Briffa is ruled out injured. For Tarxien, Ayrton Azzopardi is sidelined with an injury.
Balzan vs Hamrun Spartans, kick-off 15:00 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
Leaders Balzan will be hoping to return to winning ways after suffering a 0-3 defeat to Birkirkara – their first defeat of the season after winning seven of the first eight matches. The Spartans are currently joint-sixth after losing two of the last four matches, losing 0-3 to Sliema last week.
Hamrun Spartans could no longer count on Haruna Garba who moved to Dubai SC in the United Arab Emirates. Sergio Raphael will be back after serving a one match ban but Jorginho is ruled out through suspension. Balzan could not count on the injured Justin Grioli and Ryan Fenech.
Mosta vs Floriana, kick-off 17:15 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
Mosta and Floriana will be aiming for victory in a direct clash between two teams who failed to win in recent outings. Mosta lost 2-5 to Hamrun and then earned a point in a draw with Tarxien. Floriana, on the other hand, lost to Sliema, earning points in draws with Hamrun and Hibernians.
Assistant coach Salvatore Caleca will lead the Greens from the bench as his two-match ban is over but coach Giovanni Tedesco still has to serve another two match-ban. Defender Enzo Ruiz will also be back from suspension. Mosta coach Ivan Zammit should have the full squad at his disposal.