Tough test for Valletta

After beating Naxxar Lions 2-0 to move fourth in the BOV Premier League table, champions Valletta have a difficult task on Saturday as they take on surprise package Balzan at the Victor Tedesco Stadium.

The win over Naxxar meant that the Citizens bounced back from back-to-back defeats to Pietà and Birkirkara and now know that a win over Balzan would put them on level points with Oliver Spiteri’s side in third place.

The Balzan squad had been strengthened with a number of new signings this summer and so far were one of the teams to impress. They suffered just one defeat so far and are coming from four consecutive positive results – a win over Tarxien and draws with Floriana, Pietà and Sliema.

Balzan defender Elkin Serrano and Valletta midfielder Hugo Faria are ruled out through suspension.

Meanwhile in the first game, Naxxar Lions will be hoping to claim their first win as they take on Pietà Hotspurs.

Naxxar, who avoided relegation at the end of last season after winning a decisive clash against Vittoriosa, had a disappointing Premier League campaign so far as they lost five of the nine matches played, earning four points in four draws.

Newly-promoted Pietà, on the other hand, are coming from a positive run of three matches after beating Valletta, a draw with Balzan and a narrow win over Zebbug Rangers. They are currently third from bottom, four points ahead of Naxxar and five ahead of Zebbug.

David Alejandro Reano is ruled out through suspension for Naxxar but Andrew Scicluna and Pablo Doffo will be back. Pietà, on the other hand, are expected to be in full strength.