Six Premier League clubs and two from Division 1 will be battling for a place in the quarter-finals of the U*BET FA Trophy as the four second round matches will be played on Wednesday – two matches at the Centenary Stadium and another two at the Hibernians Stadium.
In the first match at the Centenary Stadium, Floriana take on First Division side Mosta. The Greens are currently joint-second in the BOV Premier League with 24 points from fourteen matches and are coming from a most comfortable 6-1 win over Vittoriosa Stars in their last outing. Mosta, on the other hand, collected fourteen points from eight matches in Division 1 and are among the main challengers for promotion. In the first round, Floriana defeated Lija Athletic 3-0 while Mosta defeated Dingli Swallows 5-3 after extra-time.
At the Hibernians Stadium, Hibernians host the other First Division side in the competition – St. Andrews. The Paolites returned to winning ways on Friday as they came from behind to beat Hamrun Spartans 4-2. A result which enabled them to move five points clear of wooden-spoonists Vittoriosa Stars, although they are still second from bottom. St. Andrews, who won promotion from Division 2 at the end of last season, are currently joint-sixth with nine points from seven matches. The Saints defeated Pietà Hotspurs 1-0 in their last outing. In the first round of the FA Trophy, St. Andrews beat St. George’s 2-1 while Hibernians defeated Pietà 4-0.
In the second match at the Hibs Stadium, Marsaxlokk take on Vittoriosa Stars. The Southseasiders are currently sixth with eighteen points and are coming from a fine 2-0 win over champions Birkirkara last Saturday. Vittoriosa, on the other hand, suffered a heavy 1-6 defeat to Floriana on Sunday in what was undoubtedly their most disappointing performance this season. They lie at the bottom of the Premier League table with seven points. In the FA Trophy first round, Marsaxlokk beat Mqabba 1-0 while Vittoriosa defeated Gozitan champions Victoria Hotspurs 4-2. Vittoriosa and Marsaxlokk met in a Premier League match earlier this season with the teams sharing the spoils in a 1-1 draw.
Meanwhile the most attractive clash is the second game in programme at the Centenary Stadium between Hamrun Spartans and Tarxien Rainbows. Tarxien are currently joint-second on 24 points and Hamrun fifth on 19. Both suffered defeats in their last outing as the Rainbows lost 0-2 to Valletta in a top-of-the-table clash on Sunday and the Spartans suffered a 2-4 defeat to Hibernians on Friday. Tarxien beat Balzan Youths 3-1 in the first round of the FA Trophy while Hamrun Spartans defeated Melita 5-0. The two teams met twice in the Premier League – a 3-1 win for the Spartans in the first round and a 3-1 win for the Rainbows in the second round.
In these matches, extra-time will be played if necessary and if the result is still draw at the end of extra-time, penalty-kicks shall be taken in accordance with the Laws of the Game.
The four winners of these second round clashes will join holders Valletta, champions Birkirkara, Sliema Wanderers and Qormi in the quarter-finals which will be played on March 18 and 19.
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18:00 Floriana vs Mosta
20:00 Hamrun S. vs Tarxien R.
18:00 Hibernians vs St. Andrews
20:00 Marsaxlokk vs Vittoriosa S.