Hibernians, Valletta all out to extend positive run

After claiming emphatic 6-0 wins over Qormi and Tarxien Rainbows respectively, leaders Hibernians and second-placed Valletta will be all out to extend their positive runs on Saturday as they take on Sliema Wanderers and Floriana respectively in the two games in programme at the National Stadium.

The Paolites seek a thirteenth win in fourteen matches to make sure of staying at least twelve points ahead of the Citizens against a Sliema Wanderers side eager for points after losing three out of the last four matches, lying in a mid-table position.

Hibernians are coming from five consecutive wins after defeating Birkirkara, Mosta, Balzan, Floriana and Qormi – scoring twenty goals in the process and conceding none. On Tuesday, they also secured a place in the fourth round of the FA Trophy after defeating St. George’s 2-0. The Wanderers, on the other hand, are coming from a 0-2 defeat to Floriana and on Wednesday, they lost on penalties to the same Floriana in the FA Trophy.

John Mintoff is ruled out for the Wanderers after being sent off on Wednesday while Alex Muscat, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino and Andrea Pisanu are ruled out injured. Mark Scerri should be back after serving a one-match ban. Hibernians are expected to be without Marcelo Dias.

In the first round, Hibs defeated Sliema 3-1.

Meanwhile in the second match, eternal rivals Valletta and Floriana cross swords in the derby.

Valletta seek a sixth win on the trot after beating Naxxar, Balzan, Zebbug, Mosta and Tarxien – scoring seventeen and maintaining a clean sheet. In the FA Trophy, they registered a most comfortable 7-1 win over First Division wooden-spoonsits Birzebbuga St. Peter’s. Floriana, on the other hand, are currently joint-fifth after winning three out of the last five matches, beating Sliema 2-0 in their last league outing and eliminating them from the FA Trophy.

Floriana will be without the suspended Andre Scicluna. Valletta, on the other hand, should in full strength.

In the first round, Valletta defeated Floriana 2-0.