Penultimate round of matches from the Championship Pool

The penultimate round of matches from the Championship Pool will be played this weekend as the only issue which remains to be settled is the runner-up position which guarantees a place in the UEFA Europa League this summer.

Tarxien Rainbows take on Hamrun Spartans on Friday while on Saturday, Birkirkara face Marsaxlokk and Floriana cross swords with Valletta.

In Friday’s game, only pride will be at stake as the bottom two teams in the Championship Pool face each other. Tarxien are currently fifth on 21 points, two behind Marsaxlokk and six ahead of Hamrun.

The Rainbows returned to winning ways on Saturday as they defeated Marsaxlokk 4-2. The Spartans, on the other hand, lost 0-2 to Floriana – the fifth defeat in six matches.

The two coaches will be unavailable to field their best formation due to the absence of Nikolai Chipev for Hamrun and Cristiano for Tarxien.

Hamrun vs Tarxien – Previous Rounds: 3-1, 1-3 and 1-4. FA Trophy 2-3 aet

In the first match on Saturday, Birkirkara will be all out to claim the three points as they take on Marsaxlokk. Three points separate the two teams with the Stripes lying in third place on 26 points followed by the Southseasiders on 23.

Birkirkara dropped four points in their last two outings as they were held in draws by Hamrun and Valletta. Marsaxlokk, on the other hand, collected just one point from the last three matches following a draw with Floriana and defeats to Valletta and Tarxien.

For Birkirkara, Paul Fenech and Angus Buhagiar are ruled out through suspension.

Birkirkara vs Marsaxlokk – Previous Rounds: 2-5, 0-2 and 4-1.

The weekend’s big match is the derby Floriana vs Valletta.

The Citizens will be all out to extend their unbeaten run to thirty two matches with a win over the Greens. They drew 1-1 with Birkirkara in their last outing.

Floriana, on the other hand, won three out of the last four matches, beating Birkirkara, Tarxien and Hamrun, dropping two points in a draw with Marsaxlokk. The team led by Michael Woods cannot afford any result other than a win as they aim at securing the runner-up position.

Valletta defender Steve Borg is suspended.

Floriana vs Valletta – Previous Rounds: 0-0, 0-2 and 0-3.