Hibs hope to close in on leaders

After claiming a comfortable 5-0 win over Hamrun Spartans in their last outing, Hibernians will be hoping to move temporarily one point behind leaders Valletta as they take on Qormi in one of the two BOV Premier League matches in programme on Friday at the Victor Tedesco Stadium.

The Paolites won four of the last six matches and seem to be the most serious challengers for the title together with leaders Valletta.

Qormi, are desperate for points as they lie in seventh place, three points behind sixth-placed Birkirkara. They lost five of the last six matches, losing to Floriana and Mosta in the last two outings.

Jorge Pereira da Silva is ruled out through suspension for Qormi. On the other hand, Andrew Cohen returns for the Paolites after serving a one-match ban.

In the first round, Hibs defeated Qormi 4-0.

Meanwhile in the first match, Sliema Wanderers will be aiming at returning to winning ways as they take on Tarxien Rainbows.

Sliema claimed an important point in a draw with leaders Valletta and now eye the three points from this game to move seven points ahead of seventh-placed Qormi should the latter fail to win any points from the second game.

The Blues should have three players making their debut, Trevor Cilia, Andrew Decesare and Nikola Bogdanovic who joined the club in the last few days of the January transfer window.

Tarxien earned a point in a draw from the game with Mqabba last week but they won just one game of the last eight matches, losing the other six games. They welcome back Ricardo Costa after serving a two-match ban but Steve Sadowski and Carl Sammut are suspended while Daniel Mariano Bueno is still injured.

In the first round, Sliema defeated Tarxien 3-0.