Following a draw with Floriana, Hibernians will be all out to return to winning ways as they take on Gzira United in one of the four BOV Premier League matches in programme at the Victor Tedesco Stadium and the Hibernians Stadium.
Floriana face Old Firm derby rivals Sliema Wanderers, Tarxien Rainbows meet Pembroke Athleta and Hamrun Spartans take on Mosta in the other three matches.
Tarxien Rainbows vs Pembroke Athleta, kick-off 14:00 at Hibernians Stadium
Tarxien start as firm favourites to take the three points home as they take on bottom-placed Pembroke. The Rainbows are coming from five positive results including three wins over Hamrun, Sliema and Mosta in their last three outings, apart from eliminating Lija Athletic in the FA Trophy to reach the quarter-finals. Pembroke, on the other hand, lost four out of the last seven league matches and are coming from a 2-2 draw with St. Andrews, although they managed to beat First Division side Marsa 2-1 in the FA Trophy fourth round earlier this week.
Ebiabowei Baker and Andrew Agius are ruled out through suspension for Tarxien. Pembroke, on the other hand, welcome back Miguel Attard and Ugochukwo Stanley Akuta.
Pembroke and Tarxien shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw in the first round.
Floriana vs Sliema Wanderers, kick-off 16:00 at Hibernians Stadium
Floriana will be hoping to extend their unbeaten run to twelve matches with a win over Sliema Wanderers in their bid to keep the pace with the challengers for the title. However they won just one out of the last four matches after being involved in three draws, including last week’s 2-2 draw with Hibernians. The Greens are currently fourth, three points behind Valletta, but have a game in hand. In the FA Trophy fourth round, they defeated Ghajnsielem 4-1.
Sliema won just two out of the last nine matches and suffered back-to-back defeats to Tarxien and Hamrun in their last two league outings. Last Wednesday, they defeated Second Division side Qrendi 5-0.
Amadou Samb and John Mintoff are ruled out for Floriana and Sliema respectively but Sliema captain Alex Muscat will be back after serving a two-match ban. Argentine midfielder Sebastián Ricardo Nayar should make his debut for the Greens.
In the first round, Sliema defeated Floriana 3-1.
Gzira United vs Hibernians, kick-off 14:00 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
Hibernians cannot afford any result other than a win as they take on Gzira United in order to keep the pace with the leaders. They lost just one out of the last thirteen league matches but won just one out of the last four. Last week, they were held in a 2-2 draw by Floriana.
Lying third from bottom, three points ahead of bottom-placed duo Mosta and Pembroke, Gzira United are desperate for points after losing nine out of the last eleven matches. They suffered back-to-back defeats to Balzan and Valletta in their last two games but their performance was quite satisfactory. Against Hibernians, they hope for a repeat of the first round clash when they held them in a 1-1 draw. A positive result which would enable them to steer away from Mosta and Pembroke.
For Hibernians, Rodolfo Soares is suspended but Bjorn Kristensen will be back after serving a one-match ban.
Hamrun Spartans vs Mosta, kick-off 16:15 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
After defeating Sliema 2-1 in their last outing, Hamrun target another three points which could see them move further up the table. They are currently eighth, on the 23-point mark, one behind Sliema and Tarxien. Mosta, on the other hand, share the bottom place with Pembroke. They have gone twelve matches without a win, losing eight, including last week’s 0-2 defeat to Tarxien.
Hamrun welcome back Jorge Mesqueu Neto after serving a one-match ban while new signings Siraj Arab Eddin and Igor Misan could make their debut after joining the club earlier this week.
In the first round, Hamrun beat Mosta 5-2.