Birkirkara, Valletta in top-of-the-table clash

The top spot will be at take on Sunday as Birkirkara take on Valletta in a top-of-the-table clash from the BOV Premier League at the National Stadium, kick-off at 16:00. Birkirkara lead the way with 30 points, one ahead of Valletta.

Both sides will be aiming for the three points as with still a whole round to play, neither side would be satisfied with a draw. A win for Birkirkara would put them four points ahead of Valletta while a win for the Citizens, who reached the final of the National League 100 Anniversary Cup final after defeating Tarxien 3-1 after extra-time on Wednesday, would give them the leadership, two points ahead of Birkirkara.

After winning the previous five matches, the Stripes were held in a 3-3 draw by Tarxien Rainbows last week, therefore failing to maintain a more comfortable gap over the Citizens. On the other hand, the Citizens returned to winning ways last Friday as they defeated Qormi 3-0.

Valletta have already defeated Birkirkara twice this season. In fact, following a 2-0 win in the Euro Cup, the Citizens registered a 3-1 win the Premier League first round. However in the second round, Birkirkara held Valletta in a 1-1 draw.

Both teams are expected to be in full strength.

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Meanwhile the first match in programme is the derby Tarxien Rainbows vs Hibernians.

Three points separate the two teams as Hibs are currently fifth on 17 points, followed by Tarxien on 14.

The Rainbows collected their first point in the Championship Pool last week as they held Birkirkara in a 3-3 draw. On Wednesday, they were eliminated from the National League 100 Anniversary Cup although they managed to force extra-time with a late equaliser against Valletta. On the other hand, the Paolites defeated Qormi but then suffered three identical 1-2 defeats to Valletta, Birkirkara and Sliema.

Hibernians midfielder Christian Callejas and Tarxien duo Kurt Magro and Anderson Mendes Ribeiro are all ruled out through suspension. Defenders Jonathan Caruana and Ryan Camilleri of Hibernians and Tarxien’s Andrew Decesare are in doubt as they are recovering from injuries.

The Paolites registered a 2-1 win in the first round but in the second, Tarxien won 1-0.