Citizens hope to move nine points clear

Leaders Valletta hope to move nine points clear on top the BOV Premier League table as they take on Hibernians in this weekend’s big match.

In the first round, a brace by Edison Luis dos Santos brought to an end the Citizens’ positive run and put the Paolites on top. Hibs maintained their unbeaten run for fourteen matches but in their last league outing, they conceded their first defeat, losing 2-3 to Balzan Youths.

Since then, Hibernians struggled to beat Third Division side Pembroke Athleta 5-3 in the U*BET FA Trophy third round.

Beating the Citizens is a must for Hibernians in order not to allow the leaders to extend the lead further.

Since the defeat to Hibs, Valletta won nine of the ten matches played, dropping the only points in a draw with Sliema. In the FA Trophy, they beat St. Patrick 1-0.

Valletta signed a defender from Burkina Faso – Saïdou Madi Panandétiguiri but the player would only be able to make his debut if the international transfer certificate arrives in time.

For Hibernians, Marcelo Dias is ruled out as he serves the second of a two-match ban. Diego Balbinot is no longer in squad after being released but former Qormi defender Jason Vandelannoite could make his debut for the Paolites after joining the club on Friday.

Meanwhile in the first game, neighbours Qormi and Hamrun Spartans meet in another important clash.

Both sides will be aiming to bring to an end their disappointing runs. Qormi lost three consecutive matches while Hamrun lost four of the last six matches.

For Hamrun, Lee James Agius will be back after serving a three-match ban. Gaetan Spiteri is still suspended.

In the first round, Qormi registered a 3-2 win.