Teams seek precious points from Relegation Pool clashes

rabat-naxxar131006Floriana and Tarxien Rainbows hope to move another step towards securing their Premier League status as they face Vittoriosa Stars and Qormi respectively in two of the three Relegation Pool clashes in programme on Saturday. Naxxar Lions take on Rabat Ajax in the other match.

Leaders Birkirkara, on the other hand, seek maximum points from the clash with Balzan in the Championship Pool.

Naxxar L. vs Rabat A., kick-off 14:00 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
Naxxar will be all out to return to winning ways and claim the three points in their bid to avoid relegation as they take on Rabat Ajax. Naxxar have gone nine matches without a win and are coming from two consecutive draws with Floriana and Vittoriosa.

Rabat, on the other hand, failed to win any of the last nineteen matches, losing to Qormi, Tarxien, Vittoriosa and Floriana in their last four outings. Coach Steve D’Amato will once again have a depleted side as they lack Dylan Falzon, Dani Pelaez, Sorin Oproiescu, Adam Smeir and the suspended Ryan Micallef. Goalkeeper Pavle Velimirovic and Jonathan Bajada will be back after missing the last game.

Naxxar, who welcome back Angus Buhagiar, Thiago Lopes de Souza and Andrew Decesare who were all suspended, defeated Rabat 2-1 and 3-0 in the first round but the third round clash ended in a 1-1 draw.

Qormi vs Floriana, kick-off 16:15 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
Floriana target a third win over Qormi this season after beating them 3-0 in the first round and 3-2 in the third apart from a 2-2 draw in the second round. The Greens lie four points ahead of Qormi and a win would therefore put them seven points clear. Qormi, on the other hand, would move to just one point should they beat Floriana. However they need to improve after a most disappointing 0-4 defeat to Tarxien last week.

Jorge Pereira da Silva is ruled out through suspension for Qormi.

Vittoriosa S. vs Tarxien R., kick-off 14:00 at Hibernians Stadium
Vittoriosa cannot afford any result other than a win after winning just one of the last six matches, lying second from bottom, three points behind Naxxar and Qormi. The Rainbows, on the other hand, lead the way together with Floriana and are the only team still unbeaten in the Relegation Pool.

Manuel Caruana returns for Tarxien while Federico Santaguida, Jose Filipe Aguiar and Ousmane Sidibe will be back for Vittoriosa. However defender Clive Brincat is ruled out through suspension.

Vittoriosa beat Tarxien 3-0 in the second round but the other two matches ended in draws – 2-2 and 1-1.

Birkirkara vs Balzan, kick-off 16:00 at Hibernians Stadium
After dropping five points in a defeat with Hibernians and a draw with Valletta, Birkirkara will be all out to return to winning ways as they take on a Balzan side coming from six consecutive defeats.

Ryan Scicluna return for the Stripes after serving a one-match ban. Kurt Magro and Dylan Grima should be back for Balzan.

Birkirkara defeated Balzan 2-1, 2-1 and 3-1 in the previous encounters.

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