Ten teams seek remaining U*BET FA Trophy quarter-final spots

FA TrophyTen teams will be fighting for the remaining five spots in the quarter-finals of the U*BET FA Trophy as the last five matches from the fourth round of the competition will be played on Wednesday at three different venues.

In the first match at the Centenary Stadium, holders Hibernians take on Pietà Hotspurs. The Paolites eliminated Second Division side Senglea Athletic with a 6-1 score in the third round but are in need of a big morale boost after losing three out of the last four league matches. The Hotspurs, on the other hand, suffered two consecutive defeats in Division 1 and are currently second, two points behind leaders Zebbug Rangers. In the two previous rounds of the competition, they beat Hamrun Spartans and Mqabba with identical 1-0 scores.

The second match at the Centenary Stadium is the clash between Floriana and Naxxar Lions – two teams who are challenging for a place in the Championship Pool. Both won eight matches and drew three out of nineteen matches but six points separate Floriana from sixth-placed Naxxar after having a six-point deduction. The two teams met twice in league matches – a 1-1 draw in the first round and a 1-0 win for the Greens in the second round. In the previous round, Floriana eliminated Victoria Hotspurs, beating them 4-1, while Naxxar Lions beat First Division side Gudja United 3-0.

At the Kercem Ground, Gozitans Kercem Ajax host Premier League bottom-side Rabat Ajax. Kercem are currently fourth in Gozo, seven points behind leaders Nadur Youngsters. They defeated Gozitans St. Lawrence Spurs 6-2, Third Division side Luqa St. Andrew’s 2-1 and Second Division side Mdina Knights 5-1 in the first three rounds. Rabat, on the other hand, beat Third Division leaders Sirens 3-1 in the previous round but need to show better football than they did so far in their Premier League campaign where they have collected just six points from nineteen matches.

In the first match at the Victor Tedesco Stadium, Sliema Wanderers take on Balzan in a clash between two Premier League sides. Sliema are currently fourth on 34 points and Balzan seventh on 22 points. The Wanderers beat First Division leaders Zebbug Rangers 3-1 while Balzan beat First Division side Birzebbuga St. Peter’s 5-2 in the third round of the FA Trophy. Sliema have already defeated Balzan twice this season – 3-0 and 1-0 – in two league matches.

The second match at the Victor Tedesco Stadium is another all-Premier League clash between Valletta and Mosta. The Citizens are currently second on 44 points and the Blues fifth on 29. Valletta beat Mosta 2-1 in the first round and 6-0 in the second round. In the third round of the competition, Mosta beat Lija Athletic 2-1 while Valletta defeated Melita 3-1.

Fixtures are as follows:

18:00 Hibernians vs Pietà H. (Centenary Stadium)
20:15 Floriana vs Naxxar L. (Centenary Stadium)
18:00 Kercem A. vs Rabat A. (Kercem Ajax Ground)
18:00 Sliema W. vs Balzan (Victor Tedesco Stadium)
20:15 Valletta vs Mosta (Victor Tedesco Stadium)

The five teams which qualify will join last year’s finalists Qormi, champions Birkirkara and First Division side Gzira United in the quarter-finals which will be played on February 15 and 16.