Birkirkara will be aiming for their twelfth consecutive win on Saturday but their job is no easy one as they take on in-form Naxxar Lions in one of the four matches in programme.
Rabat Ajax and Tarxien Rainbows cross swords in a direct clash between the two bottom teams, Valletta face Vittoriosa Stars while Balzan meet Qormi.
Matches will be played at the Hibernians Stadium and the Victor Tedesco Stadium due to maintenance works at the Centenary Stadium.
Rabat A. vs Tarxien R., kick-off 14:00 at Hibernians Stadium
Although both sides are coming from a series of disappointing results, Tarxien start as favourites to claim the three points as Rabat will once again be a depleted side due to the absence of the suspended Pavle Velimirovic and Aidan Azzopardi and the injured Adam Smeir and Ryan Micallef. Ryan Sammut is ruled out injured for the Rainbows.
Rabat lost seven out of the last ten matches, earning three points in draws while Tarxien lost five of the last six matches. Tarxien coach Clive Mizzi tendered his resignation but this was rejected by the club. Both Rabat and Tarxien suffered 0-3 defeats last week – to Naxxar and Vittoriosa respectively.
In the first round, Rabat defeated Tarxien 1-0.
Vittoriosa S. vs Valletta, kick-off 16:00 at Hibernians Stadium
After being held in a draw by Sliema, Valletta will be all out to bounce back with a win over Vittoriosa in order to move closer to leaders Birkirkara and stay clear of Hibernians. Meanwhile although they are joint-third from bottom, Vittoriosa’s morale is high after winning two of the last three matches, defeating Tarxien 3-0 last week.
Valletta coach Mark Miller could not count on Luke Dimech Jason Lee Vandelannoite and Lateef Elford-Alliyu. Vittoriosa, on the other hand, are expected to be in full strength.
In the first round, Valletta beat Vittoriosa 2-1.
Balzan vs Qormi, kick-off 14:00 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
Lying in eighth place on 19 points, seven behind sixth-placed Mosta, Balzan will be all out to claim the three points in their bid to maintain alive their slim hopes of securing a top-six finish. They won two out of the last three matches, defeating Mosta and Floriana.
Qormi, on the other hand, hope to collect precious points in order to move out of the danger zone. They have gone four matches without a win, earning their only point in a draw with Rabat.
For Balzan, Fabio Vignaroli is suspended. Joao Gabriel da Silva is ruled out injured while Abudulai Issaka has been released by Qormi.
In the first round, Balzan beat Qormi 2-1.
Birkirkara vs Naxxar L., kick-off 16:15 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
Leaders Birkirkara seek the twelfth successive win as they take on Naxxar Lions in their bid to retain the comfortable lead over second-placed Valletta. Meanwhile four wins in their last four outings enabled Naxxar Lions to climb to fifth place, therefore standing a very good chance of securing a place in the Championship Pool.
Naxxar lost Pablo Doffo injured until the end of the season but they acted swiftly to sign two new foreigners – midfielder Filip Stojanovic and striker Milan Vignevic. Birkirkara should be in full strength.
Birkirkara defeated Naxxar 1-0 in the first round.