Stripes hope to close in on leaders

Birkirkara hope to close in on leaders Valletta as they take on Qormi in one of the two BOV Premier League matches in programme on Sunday at the Victor Tedesco Stadium.

The Stripes returned to winning ways last week with a narrow win over Hibernians and now share the second place together with Mosta and Hibernians. However with a win over Qormi, they would move to just two points behind the leaders. They won just two of the last five matches but start as favourites to claim the three points against a team which disappointed in recent outings.

Qormi, in fact, are currently third from bottom on seven points and lost four out of the last five matches, collecting their only point in a draw with Floriana. Last week, they lost 0-1 to Hamrun.

Another setback for Jesmond Zerafa’s side is the absence of Gaetan Spiteri who was handed a provisional suspension over a match-fixing case. For Birkirkara, Paul Fenech will be back after servind a one-match ban but Zach Muscat, Shola Shodiya and Joselito are all ruled out.

Meanwhile in the first match, Sliema Wanderers take on Hamrun Spartans.

The Blues seek the fifth win in six matches to join Hibernians, Mosta and possibly Birkirkara who are currently second. They are coming from a comfortable 4-0 win over Melita last week.

The Spartans, on the other hand, could join the Wanderers in sixth place should they claim victory from this clash. They are coming from four positive results after beating Melita, a draw with Rabat and two wins over Birkirkara and Qormi.

Massimo Grima will be back for the Spartans after missing the last game but Daniel Zerafa is still in doubt. For Sliema, Paltemio Barbetti is ruled out through suspension while Stefano Bianciardi is recovering from an injury.