Valletta face Hibernians in delicate encounter

valletta-hibs130105Champions Valletta will be hoping to return to winning ways on Saturday as they take on Hibernians in one of the two Championship Pool matches in programme at the National Stadium.

The Citizens suffered back-to-back defeats to Tarxien Rainbows and Birkirkara after dropping two points in a draw with Sliema and have now fallen into third place, four points behind the Stripes.

However their task is no easy one considering that the Paolites are eager for the three points in order to keep the pace with leaders Birkirkara or even take the top spot, should the Stripes fail to beat Tarxien in the other match. Hibs bounced back from defeats to Birkirkara and Sliema with a 3-1 win over Mosta.

Hibs striker Allan Kardeck dos Santos and Valletta defender Luke Dimech are ruled out through suspension. Jackson Lima and Marcelo Dias will be back after serving a one-match ban.

After a 1-0 for Hibernians in the Euro Cup, the Citizens registered a 3-1 win in the BOV Super Cup. Valletta went on to register two wins over Hibernians in the first phase of the BOV Premier League – 1-0 and 4-1.

Meanwhile in the first match, Tarxien Rainbows take on Birkirkara.

After defeating Mosta and Valletta, the Rainbows earned a point in a draw with Sliema and now seek another positive result in their bid to secure a place in European football this summer. They are currently fifth on 26 points, one behind Valletta and Sliema.

Birkirkara, on the other hand, lead the table with 31 points, two ahead of Hibernians and another win on Saturday would enable them to stay on top the BOV Premier League table. They registered three wins in their last three outings and are coming from a 2-0 win over Valletta.

The Stripes are set to be in full strength but Manuel Caruana is ruled out for Tarxien.

Birkirkara registered two comfortable wins in the first phase – 4-1 and 5-0.

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