Difficult test for Hibernians, Citizens hope to return to winning ways

Joint-leaders Hibernians and Valletta target wins on Saturday as they take on Birkirkara and Sliema Wanderers respectively in the two matches in programme at the National Stadium.

In the first game, Hibernians target the eighth win in nine matches as they take on Birkirkara. The Paolites have already registered two comfortable wins over the Stripes this season as they defeated them 3-0 in the first round and 5-0 in the second.

Another win on Saturday would make sure Mark Miller’s side stays on top the BOV Premier League table after joining Valletta on top thanks to a 2-0 win over Floriana.

After winning three of the last four matches and holding Valletta in a 1-1 draw, Birkirkara moved third and now eye another positive result as they aim at strengthening their position and close the gap with the top two teams.

Birkirkara’s Spanish striker Moises Avila Perez is suspended. On the other hand, the Paolites’ leading scorer Edison Luis dos Santos is ruled out as he serves a one-match ban.

Meanwhile in the second match, Valletta will be all out to return to winning ways as they take on Sliema Wanderers.

The Citizens extended their unbeaten record to nineteen matches but dropped two points in a draw with Birkirkara in their last outing. A win is a must after Hibernians joined them on top. Jesmond Zerafa could not field his best formation due to the absence of Edmond Agius, Roderick Briffa and Alfred Effiong.

Sliema coach Danilo Doncic have far bigger worries due to the absence of the suspended Mark Scerri and Anicet Eyenga while Alex Muscat, Beppe Muscat and Josef Mifsud are all struggling to recover from injuries. However the Blues will be aiming at giving their opponents a hard time after holding them in two draws in the previous rounds.

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