Valletta seek maximum points from the clash with Hibernians at the National Stadium on Sunday as they aim at keeping the pace with leaders Balzan.
The Citizens are unbeaten in eight matches and only a win would satisfy coach Danilo Doncic and his players in order to move back one point behind the leaders. Addressing a press conference on Friday, Doncic stressed that they cannot afford making any mistakes and have to be all out for the three points.
Hibernians disappointed in recent outings, dropping seven points in the last four matches following draws with Mosta and Naxxar and a defeat to Sliema last week. A defeat which leaves the Paolites in sixth place. The contract of coach Mark Miller was terminated earlier this week and assistant coach Josef Mansueto resigned with Mario Muscat and Neil Zarb Cousin were jointly-appointed as coaches and Eric Lia as their assistant.
Mario Muscat said that securing a spot in the UEFA Europa League is the main objective for Hibernians and therefore a win is a must in order to bounce back and hopefully reach this objective.
In the first round, the two teams shared the spoils in a goalless draw.
Meanwhile in the first game, Gzira United will be all out to claim the three points as they take on Mosta. A win which would enable them to leapfrog Birkirkara and move back in third place.
The Maroons won just one out of the last five matches but are unbeaten in four matches – a win over Hamrun and draws with St. Andrews, Floriana and Balzan. Mosta, on the other hand, chase precious points in their bid to keep the distance from the relegation zone. They are currently joint-fifth from bottom, lying five points ahead of Tarxien, six ahead of St. Andrews and seven ahead of Naxxar.
Gzira’s Amadou Samb and Mosta’s Davide Mansi are ruled out through suspension.
Gzira and Mosta shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw in the first round.
Photo: Copyright © Andrew Grima