Citizens target fourth win over rivals Floriana

Leaders Valletta target a fourth successive win – the eighteenth in twenty-two matches as they take on eternal rivals Floriana in one of the two matches in programme at the National Stadium. Two matches which will bring the first phase of the BOV Premier League to an end.

The Citizens have extended their unbeaten streak to sixteen matches and secured a place in the semi-finals of the FA Trophy. With a win over the Greens, they would make sure of starting the second phase with a three-point gap over second-placed Hibernians.

With a draw, Valletta would have just a two-point lead.

Thirteen points separate the two teams as the Greens lost ground in the last three matches with a defeat to Mosta and draws to Balzan and Hibernians. They were also eliminated from the FA Trophy. A defeat on Sunday would mean that they would start the Championship Pool, five points behind Hibernians and eight behind Valletta. On the other hand, a win would put them four points behind the Paolites.

Midfielder Christian Cassar joined Tyrone Farrugia on the casualty list after suffering an injury in the last game. Both are ruled out until the end of the season. Goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo is suspended. The Citizens are in full strength and may welcome back in squad Terence Scerri after an absence of nine months.

The two teams met three times this season with Valletta claiming maximum points. They won 2-1 in the Euro Cup, 3-0 in the BOV Super Cup and 1-0 in the first round of the BOV Premier League.

Meanwhile in the first match, Birkirkara take on Hamrun Spartans.

Birkirkara seek a second consecutive win as they hope to close in on the top three teams for the beginning of the second phase. Over the past three months, the Stripes had an incredible pattern of results of wins alternating with defeats and a win over Hamrun would enable them to break this pattern.

The Spartans, on the other hand, aim at another positive result after a fine 6-2 win over wooden-spoonists Marsaxlokk in their last outing. That win marked the first win in over ten weeks for the team which is now led by Stefan Sultana. Hamrun are eager for points as they hope to prepare for their Relegation Pool commitments with a good performance and result.

The Hamrun forward line will be strengthened with the return of Anderson Mendes Ribeiro but midfielder Lee James Agius is suspended. Rodrigo Pereira is ruled out for Birkirkara as he serves a one-match ban.

The Stripes defeated Hamrun 4-0 in the first round but the Spartans eliminated Birkirkara from the FA Trophy, beating them 3-2.

Photo: Copyright ©