Hibernians, Birkirkara in a top-of-the-table clash

Leaders Hibernians hope to move seven points clear in the BOV Premier League table as they host second-placed Birkirkara in a top-of-the-table clash at the Hibernians Stadium on Saturday, kick-off at 17:00.

Zebbug Rangers continue to eye their first win as they take on Zebbug Rangers, Qormi seek a third consecutive win as they face Tarxien Rainbows while Mosta take on Floriana in a direct clash between two teams thirsty for victory.

Pietà Hotspurs vs Zebbug Rangers, kick-off 15:00 at Hibernians Stadium
The Hotspurs lie two points ahead of the Rangers before Saturday’s direct clash between the two newly-promoted sides. Pietà registered their first win earlier this month as they beat Valletta 2-1, earning their other two points in draws with Tarxien and Balzan. Zebbug, on the other hand, claimed three points in three 3-3 draws with Tarxien, Floriana and Naxxar.

Clifford Gauci and Javier Diaz Serrano are ruled out through suspension for Zebbug but Pietà’s Claudio Frances and Leonardo Fortunato are also in doubt. However Rafael Xavier will be back after serving a one-match ban.

Hibernians vs Birkirkara, kick-off 17:00 at Hibernians Stadium
After dropping two points in a 1-1 draw with neighbours Tarxien, Hibs will be eager to return to winning ways after claiming maximum points from the first seven matches. Birkirkara, on the other hand, suffered two defeats so far against Balzan and Tarxien but bounced back in style last week as they defeated Valletta 2-0. While a win for the Paolites would put them seven points clear, a win for Birkirkara would see Hibs’ lead to just one point.

Jackson Lima is set to start as Marcelo Dias is suspended for Hibernians. Birkirkara, on the other hand, could not count on Gareth Sciberras.

Qormi vs Tarxien Rainbows, kick-off 15:00 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
Qormi seek a third consecutive win on Saturday as they recovered well from a most disappointing run of four defeats in five matches with two fine wins over Mosta and Floriana in their last two outings. A win would enabled them to leapfrog Tarxien and move fourth on level points with Mosta. However the Rainbows, after beating Birkirkara and holding Hibernians in a draw aim for the three points which would also put them in fourth place.

Tarxien coach Clive Mizzi has to deal with the absence of Carlos Menendez Hevia, Wesley Lima Silva, Owen Bugeja and Matthew Tabone who are all suspended, goalkeeper Jonathan Debono who is ruled out injured while a number of players were recovering from slight injuries. Qormi, on the other hand, should be in full strength with the return of Frank Temile.

Floriana vs Mosta, kick-off 17:15 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
Floriana and Mosta cross swords in a clash between two teams thirsty for victory. The Greens registered just one win so far and after a run of four consecutive draws, lost 4-2 to Qormi last week. Mosta, on the other hand, had a perfect start with four wins in the first five matches but then suffered three consecutive defeats to Birkirkara, Qormi and Sliema in their last three outings. A win for Mosta would put them back on track as they would move in third place.

Amadou Samb returns for Floriana after serving a suspension while Omar Borg could be back for the Blues after recovering from an injury.