Leaders Balzan could move six points clear should they beat Valletta in a top-of-the-table clash from the BOV Premier League at the National Stadium on Sunday.
Balzan won nine of the last ten matches and are unbeaten in fifteen matches. Valletta, on the other hand, registered narrow wins over Mosta, Senglea and Naxxar but were held in a 1-1 draw by Sliema last week.
Addressing a press conference at the Trophies Lounge at the National Stadium on Friday, Balzan coach Marko Micovic said that that although this game could put his side six points clear, this would not mean that they would have a hand on the trophy as there would still be another eight games to play for the end of the season. On the other hand, Valletta coach Danilo Doncic said he believed his players would rise to the occasion for such a big game to re-open the race for the title.
Valletta goalkeeper Henry Bonello added that this was a must-win game for the Citizens while Balzan captain Paul Fenech said that they were well-aware of the fact that Valletta will be all out to gain the three points and Balzan will therefore make life difficult for their opponents as they aim to secure the championship for the first time.
Steve Borg is ruled out through suspension for Valletta. On the other hand, Balzan could not count on the injured Ivan Janjusevic and Ryan Fenech.
In the first round, Balzan defeated Valletta 2-1.
Photo: Copyright © Andrew Grima
Meanwhile in the first match, Mosta take on Hibernians.
The Paolites are currently sixth but a win over Mosta would put them in third place on level points with Birkirkara and Gzira. They are coming from back-to-back wins over Floriana and Gzira.
Mosta, on the other hand, are currently ninth on 21 points and any points from this clash would be an added bonus towards moving to a comfortable mid-table position.
Hibs could not count on the suspended Rodolfo Soares.
In the first round, Hibernians defeated Mosta 3-0.