Hibernians, Sliema aim at returning to winning ways

hibs-rabat130915pzcAfter losing to Valletta on Wednesday, Hibernians will be all out to bounce back as they host Rabat Ajax in one of the four BOV Premier League matches in programme on Saturday.

Sliema Wanderers also seek the three points as they take on Balzan while Tarxien Rainbows and Naxxar Lions cross swords in a direct clash between two teams challenging for the Championship Pool. Floriana start as favourites to beat Vittoriosa Stars.

Rabat A. vs Hibernians, kick-off 14:00 at Hibernians Stadium
Hibernians can afford no result other than a win after the defeat to Valletta saw them fall to third place. A second defeat in three matches for Branko Nisevic’s side. Rabat, on the other hand, earned a point in a 2-2 draw with Balzan on Wednesday after enjoying a two-goal lead. They remain anchored at the bottom of the table with five points.

Rabat will be with a depleted side as they lack Dylan Falzon, David Azzopardi, Pavle Velimirovic, Adam Smeir, Josef Tonna and Patrick Borg. Zoran Levnajic and Marcelo Dias are suspended for the Paolites.

In the first round, Hibernians defeated Rabat 4-1.

Sliema W. vs Balzan, kick-off 16:00 at Hibernians Stadium
The Wanderers hope to return to winning ways after losing to Birkirkara on Tuesday in order to move back on track in the challenge for honours. Balzan, on the other hand, dropped two important points in the battle for sixth place after managing only a draw against Rabat.

Luke Sciberras will be back after serving a one-match ban for Balzan but Dani Miguelez and Firas Aboulezz are still recovering from injuries. Mark Scerri and Alessandro Rapino return for Sliema but Paltemio Barbetti is suspended while Abubakar Bello-Osagie is still injured.

In the first round, Sliema beat Balzan 1-0.

Tarxien R. vs Naxxar L., kick-off 14:00 at Centenary Stadium
After losing two direct clashes with Qormi and Floriana, Tarxien hope to earn the three points from the clash with Naxxar which would enable them to join the Lions on the 15-point mark. Naxxar lost three of the last five matches and saw a quite comfortable lead fade away. They now share the sixth place with Floriana.

Thiago Lopes de Souza is suspended but Pablo Doffo will be back after serving a one-match ban. Tarxien welcome back Nicky Vella, Josef Mifsud and Miguel Ciantar.

In the first round, Naxxar beat Tarxien 3-1.

Vittoriosa S. vs Floriana, kick-off 16:00 at Centenary Stadium
Floriana chase their fourth win in five matches as they edge closer to a top-six finish. Vittoriosa, on the other hand, have gone eight matches without a win and are now second from bottom.

Oscar Guerrero will be back for Oliver Spiteri’s side but Malcolm Buttigieg and Samir Arab are suspended. Floriana could not count on the suspended Brooke Farrugia with Sunday Eboh and Sacha Borg still recovering from injuries.

In the first round, Floriana defeated Vittoriosa 2-1.

Photo: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar