Championship Pool gets underway

Joint-leaders Hibernians and Valletta seek a winning start to their Championship Pool commitments as they take on Tarxien Rainbows and Mosta respectively in the two matches in programme at the National Stadium on Saturday.

Just two weeks after being held in a draw by the Rainbows, Hibernians will be facing their rivals in another derby. This time, the Paolites cannot afford any result other than a win to make sure of retaining the top spot.

However the Rainbows are keen to start on a positive note as they target their first ever participation in European competitions. They are currently fourth, on level points with Sliema, four points behind the leaders. Apart from the goalless draw, Tarxien also held Hibs in a 2-2 draw in the first round.

Clayton Failla and Zoran Levnajic return for Hibernians after serving a one-match ban.

Meanwhile in the second match, Valletta start as favourites to beat Mosta.

The Citizens won five out of the last six matches, defeating rivals Floriana 3-0 in their last league outing. Mosta, on the other hand, lost four of the last five league matches, losing 2-3 to Rabat Ajax in their last game.

Making his debut for Mosta will be new coach Danilo Doncic who takes over from Steve D’Amato. The former Floriana, Sliema and Tarxien coach hopes to put the Blues back on track after this disappointing run.

Bryan Agius is suspended for Mosta but Carlos Campagnoli and Adrian Farrugia will be back.

In the first round, Valletta defeated Mosta 3-1 but the second round clash ended in a 1-0 win for Mosta.

Photo: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar