Valletta will be all out to claim the three points as they take on Naxxar Lions in one of the four BOV Premier League matches in programme on Saturday. Three points which would hand the Citizens sole leadership ahead of Sunday’s clash between leaders Birkirkara and third-placed Hibernians.
The other three matches on Saturday involve teams fighting for a place in the Championship Pool as Mosta take on Balzan, Qormi face Vittoriosa Stars and Tarxien Rainbows meet Sliema Wanderers.
Mosta vs Balzan, kick-off 14:00 at Hibernians Stadium
Mosta and Balzan are both eager to bounce back after suffering defeats last week. Mosta lost 1-2 to Birkirkara while Balzan suffered the second defeat in three matches, losing 0-3 to Sliema. The Blues are currently fifth on 22 points and only a win would satisfy them as they lie just four points ahead of Naxxar and Floriana. Balzan, on the other hand, are currently ninth on 13 points.
For Balzan, Rodrigo Pereira seems to be on his way out of the club after being suspended for 28 days by the club. He was also handed a one-match ban after collecting a fourth yellow card. Goalkeeper Dani Miguelez has been released. Mosta lack the suspended Ishmael Grech and the injured Diego Pereira.
In the first round, Mosta defeated Balzan 3-1.
Qormi vs Vittoriosa S., kick-off 16:00 at Hibernians Stadium
Qormi hope to return to winning ways as they take on Vittoriosa Stars. With the contract of coach Tommaso Volpi terminated by mutual consent, Josef Mansueto will be leading the team until the appointment of a new coach. Qormi won two of the last three matches, losing 0-4 to Valletta last week, but are currently eighth on 14 points. Vittoriosa, on the other hand, hope to end their losing streak as they lost their last five matches and are currently second from bottom.
Siraj Arab serves a one-match ban for Vittoriosa but Samir Arab and Malcolm Buttigieg will be back after serving a suspension. Qormi welcome back Roderick Bajada with the only missing player being Jorge Pereira da Silva.
Vittoriosa defeated Qormi 1-0 in the first round.
Tarxien R. vs Sliema W., kick-off 14:00 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
Sliema Wanderers hope to collect more precious points as they take on a Tarxien Rainbows side which lost the last three matches, leaving them third from bottom. In fact, Clive Mizzi’s side lost to Qormi, Floriana and Naxxar in their last three outings. Sliema, on the other hand, defeated Balzan 3-0 last week.
Josef Mifsud is suspended for Tarxien while Paltemio Barbetti returns for Sliema after serving a one-match ban.
In the first round, Sliema and Tarxien shared the spoils in a 3-3 draw.
Naxxar L. vs Valletta, kick-off 16:15 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
Valletta hope to extend their unbeaten run to ten matches with a win over Naxxar which would put them temporarily on top the BOV Premier League table. They won their last five matches, defeating Mosta, Floriana, Hibs and Qormi. Naxxar are currently joint-sixth and are coming from a 2-0 win over Tarxien.
Thiago Lopes de Souza is back for Naxxar after serving a suspension. For Valletta, Roderick Briffa is suspended while Hamza Barry and Latif Elford-Alliyu are recovering from injuries.
In the first round, Valletta defeated Naxxar 1-0.
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