After dropping four points in the last two outings, leaders Valletta will be hoping to return to winning ways on Saturday as they take on rivals Birkirkara in this weekend’s big match from the BOV Premier League Championship Pool.
The Citizens enjoy a five-point lead over Marsaxlokk and six over the Stripes with Marsaxlokk playing a game more. Valletta therefore would move eight points clear should they beat Birkirkara and Floriana fail to beat Hamrun in the other game.
Although they maintained their unbeaten run, the team led by Leonard Farrugia and Jesmond Zerafa was held in four draws out of the last six matches.
Birkirkara, on the other hand, are also coming from a 1-1 draw with Hamrun Spartans and have collected just five points from the last four matches. However a win over the Citizens would open the race for the title open wide as they would move to just three points behind the leaders.
Ryan Fenech is ruled out for Valletta as he serves a one-match ban. For Birkirkara, Shaun Bajada will be back after missing the last game.
The two teams already met four times this season. Following a 3-0 win for Valletta in the Euro Cup, the BOV Super Cup clash ended in extra-time with a 3-2 win for the Citizens once again. The two teams shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw in the Premier League first round clash but in the second round, Valletta won 3-1.
Meanwhile in the first game, Floriana take on Hamrun Spartans.
The Greens were in excellent form last week as they defeated Tarxien Rainbows 5-1 and are now eager to claim another three points to move possibly in second place.
Hamrun’s morale is high after holding Valletta and Birkirkara in two 1-1 draws in the two Championship Pool games played so far. A win over Floriana would put them on level points with the Greens, two ahead of Tarxien.
Jovan Vukanic is ruled out through suspension for Hamrun.
Floriana have already defeated Hamrun twice this season – 2-1 and 3-1.
Photo: Copyright © www.stephengatt.com