Hibs, Vittoriosa in must-win clash

The Relegation Pool gets underway on Sunday with a clash between the two teams lying at the bottom of the table – Hibernians and Vittoriosa Stars.

Two points separate the two teams with the Paolites lying on the eight-point mark and Vittoriosa on six. Sliema Wanderers and Qormi lead the way with eleven points.

The Stars have already defeated Hibernians twice this season – 2-0 and 2-1. Ironically their only wins this season. A win on Sunday is a must as it would put them on nine points, therefore handing the wooden spoon to Mark Miller’s side.

After a fine 3-1 win over Tarxien in the derby, the Paolites were once again a disappointing lot as they suffered a heavy 0-4 defeat to Sliema last week. Hibs need to improve considerably as they cannot afford any result other than a win against Vittoriosa.

Making his debut for the Paolites should be Dutch midfielder Taki Abdelilah. Leighton Grech is ruled out through suspension for Vittoriosa.

Meanwhile in the second game, leaders Valletta could extend the lead on top the BOV Premier League table to eight points should they beat Hamrun Spartans.

In fact, following Tarxien’s 1-3 defeat to Birkirkara, the Citizens have the possibility of going eight points clear of the Stripes who now lie in second place. Valletta are the only unbeaten side and are keen to maintain this run till the very end of the competition.

The Spartans will only aim at giving their opponents a hard time although their main objective – that of securing a top-six finish has been achieved. They welcome back Massimo Grima and Dene Shields who missed the 3-2 win over Vittoriosa as they were serving a one-match ban. Gaetan Spiteri is suspended.

Denni is also ruled out through suspension for the Citizens but former Hamrun midfielder Ryan Fenech could be back.

In the first round, Valletta beat Hamrun 2-0 before the two teams shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw in the second round.

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