It will almost be a do-or-die clash for Hibernians as they take on Birkirkara in one of the two BOV Premier League matches in programme at the National Stadium on Sunday.
Birkirkara lead the table with 37 points, two ahead of Hibernians, and should they win on Sunday, they would move five points clear with just three games to go for the end of the season. On the other hand, a win for the Paolites would give them sole leadership, one point ahead of the Stripes.
Photo: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar
In case of a draw, Birkirkara would stay two points ahead of the Paolites on 38 and 36 points respectively with Valletta lying in third place on 33.
Birkirkara won seven of the last eight matches, winning the last five games and are coming from a narrow win over Sliema. Hibernians, on the other hand, defeated Mosta, Valletta and Tarxien in their last three outings.
Mario Muscat and Jean Paul Farrugia will be back for Hibs after serving a one-match ban. Birkirkara hope to recover Gareth Sciberras who missed the game against Sliema.
Birkirkara defeated Hibernians twice this season with an identical 1-0 score. The second round clash ended in a goalless draw.
Meanwhile in the first match, Tarxien Rainbows take on Mosta.
A draw with Sliema and defeats to Birkirkara and Hibernians saw the Rainbows lose ground in the battle for a place in the UEFA Europa League this summer as they lie in fifth place on 26 points, four behind Sliema and seven behind Valletta. A win is therefore a must against a team which lost seven matches.
Mosta, in fact, are yet to collect their first point in the Championship Pool, suffering no less than twenty-eight goals in the last seven matches. In their last outing, they suffered a 1-6 defeat to Valletta.
Steve Onyii Chiemeka and Carlos Campagnoli are ruled out injured for Mosta while Branislav Timotic is suspended for Tarxien.
Tarxien registered three wins over Mosta this season – 2-0, 3-1 and 3-0.