Teams target precious points in final games from first phase

Teams will be aiming to collect precious points from the final games of the first phase which will be played between Saturday and Wednesday. On Saturday, Melita take on Qormi while Sliema Wanderers face Balzan

In the first game, Melita hope to obtain a positive result after suffering two defeats in the last two outings against Tarxien and Mosta. The Amateurs are currently on the 14-point mark and therefore would start the Relegation Pool on seven points. However with a draw, they would start on eight points and with a win, they would have nine points in the second phase.

Qormi, who will also play in the Relegation Pool, currently have twenty-seven points which would be halved and rounded to fourteen points. A draw against Melita would make no difference for Jesmond Zerafa’s side but with a win, they would start the second phase on fifteen points. They won two of the last three matches, losing 1-2 to Birkirkara in their last outing.

Jonathan Bondin and Alfred Effiong are ruled out through suspension for Qormi.

In the first round, Melita defeated Qormi 3-2.

Meanwhile in the second match, Sliema Wanderers hope to increase their tally with a positive result against Balzan.

Sliema defeated Hamrun in their last outing – a first win after two defeats and a draw – to secure a place in the Championship Pool. Having thirty-four points, they would start the second phase on seventeen points, eighteen in case of a draw and nineteen should they register a win on Saturday.

Balzan, on the other hand, will be playing in the Relegation Pool. A draw in the game against Sliema would make no difference for Balzan but with a win, they would start the second phase on fifteen points.

Ivan Zammit could not lead the team from the bench after being handed a two-match ban. Renato Conceicao and Bjorn Bondin are suspended but Yessous Camilleri will be back after serving a two-match ban. Clifford Gatt Baldacchino and Mark Scerri are suspended for Sliema but Stefano Bianciardi and Luigi Ruggiero will be back. Nigerian striker Stanley Ohawuchi is set to make his debut for the Wanderers.

In the first round, Balzan defeated Sliema 1-0.