Valletta cannot afford any result other than a win as they take on Mosta in a clash from the Championship Pool on Saturday. The three Relegation Pool matches could almost prove decisive as Naxxar Lions face Qormi, Vittoriosa Stars take on Rabat Ajax and Tarxien Rainbows face Floriana.
With three games to go including this weekend’s matches, Qormi and Naxxar lead the way with 23 points, followed by Tarxien on 22, Floriana 21 and Vittoriosa 18 with bottom-placed Rabat already relegated to Division 1 on 4 points.
Photo: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar
Rabat A. vs Vittoriosa S., kick-off 16:00 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
Vittoriosa will be all out to register a fourth win over the Magpies after beating 1-0, 1-0 and 3-1 in the previous rounds. A win for the Stars and a defeat for Floriana against Tarxien would put Oliver Spiteri’s side on level points with the Greens.
After two draws with Naxxar and Tarxien, Vittoriosa returned to winning ways as they beat Floriana 2-1. Rabat, on the other hand, have now gone twenty-one matches without a win and lost the last six consecutive matches.
Jose Filipe Aguiar and Leonardo Torri are suspended for Vittoriosa while Rabat could not count on the injured Dylan Falzon, Dani Pelaez and Adam Smeir.
Tarxien R. vs Floriana, kick-off 18:15 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
Giovanni Tedesco will be making his debut as Floriana coach as the Greens take on Tarxien in a most delicate encounter.
Two consecutive defeats to Qormi and Vittoriosa see Floriana lying just three points ahead of Vittoriosa and therefore they have to return to winning ways in order to steer away from relegation trouble. However, lying just one point ahead of them Tarxien also need to win as they only collected one point from the last two matches after a draw with Vittoriosa and a defeat to Naxxar in their last outing.
Carlo Mamo and Karl Pulo will be back for the Rainbows while Floriana could not count on the suspended Clyde Borg.
In the first round, Tarxien defeated Floriana 2-1 while the second round clash ended in a 3-1 win for the Greens. The Rainbows won 3-0 in the third round.
Naxxar L. vs Qormi, kick-off 16:00 at Hibernians Stadium
Naxxar and Qormi both seek more precious points as they currently enjoy the top spot in the Relegation Pool. After draws with Floriana and Vittoriosa, Naxxar registered two wins over Rabat and Tarxien. Qormi, on the other hand, registerd a fourth win in five matches last week as they beat Rabat 3-1.
No players are suspended as Naxxar’s Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro and Qormi’s Raffaele Simone Quintieri and Joao Gabriel da Silva return after serving a one-match ban.
In the first round, Naxxar defeated Qormi 2-1 but the other two games went Qormi’s way as they won 3-1 and 5-1.
Mosta vs Valletta, kick-off 18:00 at Hibernians Stadium
In the Championship Pool, a win for Valletta over Mosta would put them temporarily on top the BOV Premier League table as they currently lie two points behind Birkirkara. The Citizens extended their unbeaten to thirteen matches as they beat Hibernians 3-2 last week.
Mosta, on the other hand, maintain the challenge for fourth place which could mean a place in the UEFA Europa League this summer as they lie one point ahead of fifth-placed Sliema. The Blues are coming from a 0-4 defeat to Birkirkara in their last outing.
Mosta welcome back Omar Borg and Bojan Kaljevic who missed the last game. Valletta, on the other hand, could not count on Jonathan Caruana and Luke Dimech.
Valletta won 2-1 and 6-0 in the first phase with the Championship Pool clash ending in a 2-2 draw.