Stripes face tricky Marsaxlokk test

Champions Birkirkara will be hoping to return to winning ways on Sunday as they take on Marsaxlokk in one of the two BOV Premier League matches in programme.

The Stripes are currently second, on level points with Sliema Wanderers and Floriana, four behind leaders Valletta and one ahead of Marsaxlokk. They are coming from a 2-2 draw with Valletta in their last outing.

However Sunday’s game will be no easy one for Paul Zammit’s side considering that Marsaxlokk, together with Valletta, are still unbeaten, having collected a win and three draws so far. A win would put them in second place, two points behind the Citizens.

Alan Tabone, Shaun Bajada and Rowen Muscat are all ruled out injured with the latter two suffering injuries during the last game. Injuries which will probably keep them on the sidelines for several weeks. Marsaxlokk will lack former Birkirkara defender Emil Yantchev once again while Julio Alcorse, Dylan Kokavessis and Gareth Sciberras are in doubt.

Meanwhile in the first game, Hibernians and Hamrun Spartans will both aim at returning to winning ways after disappointing in recent outings.

The Paolites won their first game against Floriana but then collected just two points in draws with Valletta and Marsaxlokk, losing to Birkirkara. Hamrun, on the other hand, won the first two games against Qormi and Tarxien, losing to Sliema and Floriana.

Martin Hrubsa and Steve Bonnici will be unavailable for Hamrun after receiving a one-match ban while Scottish striker Dene Shields is in doubt due to an injury. However Nigerian-born striker Peter Anizoba could make his first appearance for the Spartans. For Hibernians, Ryan Camilleri is ruled out injured.