Hibs hope to keep the pace with leaders

Hibernians will be hoping to keep the pace with leaders Valletta as they take on Birkirkara in one of the two BOV Premier League matches in programme at the Hibernians Stadium on Sunday.

The Paolites lie six points behind the Citizens while Birkirkara share the fourth place with Sliema Wanderers and Qormi.

Hibernians are the only unbeaten side in the Premier League after thirteen matches but won just two out of the last five matches. Birkirkara, on the other hand, won just four points from the last four matches thanks to a win over Balzan and a draw with Mosta, losing to Tarxien and Qormi.

For Birkirkara, captain Paul Fenech, Shaun Bajada and Moises Avila Perez are ruled out through suspension. Dragan Perisic and Rowen Muscat are also in doubt as they are recovering from injuries. Hibernians defenders Diego Balbinot, Ryan Camilleri, Jonathan Pearson and Adrian Pulis are all ruled out through injuries but Edison Luis dos Santos and Marcelo Dias will be back after serving a one-match ban.

In the first round, Hibs defeated Birkirkara 3-0.

Meanwhile in the first match, Mqabba take on Marsaxlokk in a clash between two teams eager for points.

One point separates the two teams as the Reds are currently ninth on 12 points, followed by the Southseasiders on eleven.

Mqabba have gone six matches without a win, earning just two points in draws. In their last outing, they collected a point in a draw with Sliema. On the other hand, Marsaxlokk are coming from a defeat to Hibernians.

Clive Brincat and Sunday Eboh will be back for Marsaxlokk after missing the last game through suspension but they will be lacking Argentine striker Emiliano Lattes who is the latest in a series of players who quit the club by mutual agreement following the departure of Florent Raimy, Carlos Campagnoli and Obinna Obiefule. Mqabba, on the other hand, should be in full strength, except for Andrew Scicluna who is ruled out for the rest of the season.

In the first round, Mqabba registered a 2-0 win.

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