Birkirkara face Wanderers test

bkara-sliema130127Birkirkara cannot afford any result other than a win as they take on Sliema Wanderers in one of the two BOV Premier League matches in programme on Sunday.

The Stripes are currently second after Valletta’s comfortable 5-0 win over Mosta on Saturday but a win over Sliema would put them back on top. They are coming from two consecutive wins after beating Balzan 1-0 and Mosta 4-0 in their last two outings.

The Wanderers disappointed in recent outings, losing four of the last five matches, earning their only point in a draw with Mosta. They are currently fifth on 27 points, one behind Mosta.

Both sides will be unable to field their best formation as Beppe Muscat, Paltemio Barbetti, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino and Admir Vladavic are ruled out injured for Sliema while Birkirkara will be lacking Joseph Zerafa apart from Gareth Sciberras, Alejandro Mendoza and Nikola Vukanac who are recovering from injuries.

After a 1-1 draw in the first round clash, Birkirkara defeated Sliema 3-1 in both the second and third round.

Meanwhile in the first match, Balzan take on Hibernians.

Balzan ended their losing streak with a dramatic stoppage-time goal against Sliema. Hibernians, on the other hand, lost 3-2 to Valletta but lie comfortably in third place.

Jonathan Pearson returns for the Paolites after serving a one-match ban but Scott Chircop and Jurgen Borg are ruled out injured. Balzan could not count on the suspended Justin Grioli and Fabio Vignaroli.

Hibs defeated Balzan 1-0, 2-0 and 4-2 in the previous rounds.