Hamrun, Floriana in search of precious points

Hamrun Spartans and Floriana will be all out for the three points on Sunday as the two teams cross swords in the only Relegation Pool match in programme this weekend. A dramatic 3-2 win for Msida St. Joseph in their first game against Dingli Swallows last week put enabled them to close in on the Spartans and the Greens and at this point only three points separate the three teams.

Despite failing to secure a top-six position, in recent weeks, Floriana made it to the National League 100 Anniversary Cup semi-finals when they defeated Hamrun on penalties following a 2-2 draw. In their last league outing, they beat Msida 4-2.

Hamrun, on the other hand, held Tarxien in a 2-2 draw in their last league match and defeated Marsaxlokk 1-0 in the FA Trophy second round.

Floriana will be lacking Orosco Anonam and Julian Briffa who are suspended after being sent off in the U*BET FA Trophy second round match against Tarxien Rainbows. Several other players are also ruled out injured. Russian striker Victor Zlydarev has been released. Hamrun, on the other hand, should have Nigerian striker Polycarp Obinna Obiefule making his debut after replacing Joao Mawete. Diego Armando Cucciardi, Jonathan Holland and Timothy Fleri Soler are all ruled out for one reason or another.

In the first round, Floriana defeated Hamrun 1-0 but in the second, the two teams shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw.

Meanwhile in a match from the Championship Pool Tarxien Rainbows take on Sliema Wanderers.

Both teams were on the losing end in their first game from the second phase as the Rainbows lost 6-2 to Valletta and the Wanderers lost narrowly to Birkirkara. Following defeats for Qormi and Hibernians to Birkirkara and Valletta respectively on Saturday, the Blues could move in joint-third place with a win over Tarxien.

The Rainbows will be without influential midfielder Denni Rocha Dos Santos who is suspended. Alex Muscat and Ryan Fenech will be back for Sliema after serving a one-match ban. However Josef Mifsud and John Mintoff are both ruled out through suspension.

Tarxien defeated Sliema 3-1 in the first round but in the second, Sliema registered a 4-2 win.

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