Valletta will be all out to return to winning ways on Saturday as they take on Gzira United in one of the four BOV Premier League matches in programme at the Hibernians Stadium and the Victor Tedesco Stadium.
Hamrun will be hoping to end their disappointing run as they face Sliema, Mosta take on Tarxien while Pembroke and St. Andrews cross swords in the derby.
Pembroke Athleta vs St. Andrews, kick-off 14:00 at Hibernians Stadium
Bottom-placed Pembroke Athleta will be hoping for a morale-boosting win as they take on neighbours St. Andrews. Pembroke are currently anchored at the bottom of the table with nine points after losing four out of the last six matches, winning just one out of the last eleven matches. They lost 0-2 to Birkirkara in their last outing.
On the other hand, St. Andrews are currently joint-eighth with Hamrun Spartans on 20 points. They lost just one out of the last eight matches but were held in five draws. Last week, they shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw with Mosta.
Ante Bakmaz and Enmy Manuel Pena Beltre eturn for St. Andrews after serving a one-match ban but Bong Won Che is suspended. Pembroke welcome back Asani Djeljilj and Andrea Scozzese but Ugochukwu Akuta and Miguel Attard are suspended. However they should have a number of new faces in squad, namely Argryis Roppas, Iraklis Roppas, Panagiotis Giannopoulos and Daniane Jawad.
In the first round, St. Andrews defeated Pembroke 4-1.
Valletta vs Gzira United, kick-off 16:00 at Hibernians Stadium
Champions Valletta cannot afford any result other than a win as they take on Gzira. The Citizens won just one out of the last five matches after being held in draws by Mosta, Balzan and Floriana and losing narrowly to Hibernians last week. Results which saw them lose ground in the table and they currently share fourth place with Birkirkara, seven points behind leaders Balzan. The Maroons, on the other hand, are third from bottom and won just one out of the last twelve matches. They are coming from a 1-2 defeat to Balzan.
Valletta should have Jhonnattann making his last appearance for the club before leaving for the Middle East. Tomas Radzinevicius is suspended and with Michael Mifsud ruled out injured, there are not much options in attack for coach Paul Zammit who also cannot rely on the injured Roderick Briffa. Gzira, on the other hand, should be in full strength.
Valletta defeated Gzira 3-1 in the first round.
Sliema Wanderers vs Hamrun Spartans, kick-off 14:00 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
After losing their last three matches and conceding no less than eleven goals, Hamrun Spartans will be aiming at ending this disappointing run with a win over Sliema. The Spartans lost heavily to Floriana, suffering a 1-5 defeat but then bounced back in the FA Trophy with a 2-0 win over Nadur Youngsters to reach the fourth round. Hamrun share the eighth place with St. Andrews on 20 points, four behind Sliema.
The Wanderers lost narrowly to Tarxien last week after collecting seven points from the previous three matches. Another positive result on Saturday would put them even closer to the top five teams as six points now separate them from joint-fourth placed teams Valletta and Birkirkara.
Hamrun could not count on the suspended Jorge Mesqueu Neto. Alex Muscat is suspended for Sliema but Peter Xuereb is back after serving a one-match ban.
In the first round, Sliema defeated Hamrun 3-0.
Mosta vs Tarxien Rainbows, kick-off 16:15 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
Tarxien will be aiming for a fifth consecutive positive result as they take on Mosta. After draws with St. Andrews and Floriana, the Rainbows won their last two matches against Hamrun and Sliema. Another win on Saturday would enable them to move further away from tje danger zone. Mosta, on the other hand, have now gone eleven matches without a win and are coming from a draw with St. Andrews following defeats to Hibs, Gzira and Birkirkara.
Mosta could not count on the suspended Njongo Priso but could have new signings David Fenech, Cedric Hengbart and Eric Mikes making their debut.
Tarxien and Mosta shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw in the first round.