Following a break due to the General Elections, the BOV Premier League resumes on Tuesday with four matches – one from the Championship Pool and three from the Relegation Pool.
At the Hibernians Stadium, leaders Valletta take on Tarxien Rainbows, hoping to extend the lead further. The Citizens currently lead the way one point ahead of Hibernians and two ahead of Birkirkara. They have gone nine matches without defeat but are coming from a goalless draw with Sliema Wanderers in their last outing.
Tarxien, on the other hand, claimed their first win in the Championship Pool last week as they beat Mosta 3-0. They are currently fifth, one point behind fourth-placed Sliema.
Andrezinho returns for the Rainbows after serving a one-match ban but William Barbosa is ruled out through suspension for Valletta.
The Citizens defeated Tarxien 1-0 in the first round but the second round clash ended in a 1-1 draw.
In another match at the Hibs Stadium, Hamrun Spartans face Qormi.
The Spartans will be hoping to collect more precious points after beating Rabat Ajax 2-1 last week to end a most disappointing run of thirteen defeats in fourteen matches. They are currently third from bottom in the Relegation Pool, two points ahead of Rabat and four ahead of Melita.
Qormi bounced back from a defeat to Rabat with a 2-0 win over Melita in their last game to move on top of the Relegation Pool on eighteen points, together with Balzan. Another positive run on Tuesday would help them move closer to safety.
Jonathan Bondin and Roderick Fenech return for Qormi and Hamrun respectively after missing the last game through suspension.
Hamrun beat Qormi 1-0 in the first round but in the second round, Qormi registered a comfortable 4-0 win over the Spartans.
Meanwhile in the first match at the Victor Tedesco Stadium, Floriana take on Rabat Ajax.
The Greens seek a third positive result in the Relegation Pool after a win over Melita and a draw with Balzan in their bid to stay away from the danger zone.
The Magpies suffered a disappointing defeat to Hamrun in their last outing after winning the previous two games against Mosta and Qormi. A positive result is a must in order to keep the pressure on Hamrun.
For Rabat, Joseph Caruana is ruled out as he serves a one-match ban. Owen Bugeja returns for Floriana after missing the game against Balzan through suspension.
After a 3-0 win for Floriana in the first round, the two teams shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw in the second round clash.
Balzan meet Melita in the other game at Hamrun.
Ivan Zammit’s side defeated Hamrun and drew with Floriana in the two matches from the Relegation Pool and another win on Tuesday would be another important step towards securing their Premier League status.
Melita, on the other hand, are still seeking their first points in the Relegation Pool and are coming from five consecutive defeats. They are coming from a 0-2 defeat to Qormi in their last outing.
Matthew Borg and Andrew Caruana Scicluna return for the Amateurs after serving a one-match ban but Vince Ringrose is unavailable for selection.
Balzan defeated Melita 2-1 in the first round and 4-0 in the second.
Photo (1): Copyright © Joe Borg / MFA
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