Valletta hope to close in on leaders

valletta-rabat130217Valletta will be all out for the three points on Saturday as they take on Rabat Ajax in one of the four BOV Premier League matches in programme at the Victor Tedesco Stadium and the Centenary Stadium.

Birkirkara and Sliema Wanderers also seek the three points in their bid to stay close to the leaders.

Balzan vs Naxxar L., kick-off 16:00 – Centenary Stadium
After defeating Qormi 2-1 in their last outing, Balzan hope to collect another three points as they take on a Naxxar Lions side which lost narrowly to Birkirkara last week. A win which would put them one point ahead of the Lions as the latter are currently sixth on ten points, followed by Balzan, Tarxien and Vittoriosa on 8.

Joselito dos Reis is set to make his debut for Jesmond Zerafa’s side after joining the club earlier this week but goalkeeper Dani Miguelez and Rodrigo Pereira are in doubt as they are recovering from injuries. Naxxar could not count on Brazilian midfielder Andre Rocha da Silva who is suspended.

Birkirkara vs Tarxien R., kick-off 18:00 – Centenary Stadium
Birkirkara hope to overcome the challenge offered by Tarxien Rainbows after struggling in a 1-1 draw with Qormi and a narrow win over Naxxar Lions in their last two outings. A win would put the Stripes two points behind Hibernians although the latter would have a game in hand. However Tarxien are eager to bounce back after losing to Rabat Ajax last week.

Birkirkara’s Paul Fenech and Tarxien’s Fernando Lopes Alcantara are ruled out as they serve a one-match ban.

Sliema W. vs Vittoriosa S., kick-off 16:00 – Victor Tedesco Stadium
After losing to Valletta before the international break, Sliema bounced back with a 2-2 draw with Hibernians, therefore being the first team to steal any points off Hibernians this season. A win over Vittoriosa would enable them to close in on the leaders as they are currently fourth, seven points behind Hibs. Vittoriosa were close to surprising Valletta last week, leading the score for long stretches, eventually losing 1-2. Coach Oliver Spiteri targets another fine performance as they seek another positive result which would keep them away from the danger zone.

Mark Scerri is ruled out for Sliema due to suspension but Filipe Aguiar should be back after missing last week’s game.

Rabat A. vs Valletta, kick-off 18:15 – Victor Tedesco Stadium
The Citizens start as firm favourites to claim the three points as they take on bottom-placed Rabat Ajax although the Citizens do remember well the two 1-1 draws with the Magpies last season. After a fine 3-0 win over Sliema, much more was expected from Valletta as they struggled to beat Vittoriosa last week. Rabat, on the other hand, finally collected their first three points in a 1-0 win over Tarxien Rainbows.

Luke Dimech and Roderick Briffa are set to return for Valletta while Joseph Caruana is still ruled out injured for Rabat.

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