Birkirkara will be aiming for maximum points on Sunday as they take on Naxxar Lions in one of four matches in programme at the Hibernians Stadium and the Victor Tedesco Stadium.
Mosta and Balzan also seek the three points in their bid to stay in the upper part of the table as they face Zebbug Rangers and Qormi respectively while Pietà Hotspurs and Tarxien Rainbows cross swords in a clash between the teams lying joint-second from bottom.
Naxxar Lions vs Birkirkara, kick-off 14:00 at Hibernians Stadium
Following a 3-1 win over Zebbug Rangers in their last league outing and a 7-1 win over Hamrun Spartans in the FA Trophy, the Stripes eye another win in order to keep the pace with leaders Hibernians and second-placed Valletta. However this will be no easy task as Naxxar are doing quite well after winning three out of the last four league matches – including a 3-1 win over Balzan last week, although they were eliminated from the FA Trophy after losing to First Division leaders Melita 2-1.
Naxxar will be without the suspended Pablo Doffo and Victor Bellia while Birkirkara are expected to be in full strength.
In the first round, Birkirkara defeated Naxxar 1-0.
Balzan vs Qormi, kick-off 16:00 at Hibernians Stadium
Balzan will be hoping to return to winning ways on Sunday as they take on Qormi. Balzan have gone seven matches without a win – losing three out of the last four matches, including last week’s 1-3 defeat to Naxxar. They are currently joint-fifth, just one point ahead of Qormi. Qormi lost heavily to Hibernians last week after claiming three points in three consecutive draws.
In the FA Trophy, both sides defeated opposition from Third Division clubs – Balzan beat leaders Kirkop United 2-0 while Qormi defeated Qrendi 3-0.
Samir Arab returns for Balzan after serving a one-match ban but Osa Ice-Cream Guobadia is suspended. Qormi, on the other hand, have no players injured or suspended.
In the first round, Balzan defeated Qormi 2-1.
Zebbug Rangers vs Mosta, kick-off 14:00 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
Zebbug Rangers continue to chase their first win in the BOV Premier League after losing eight of the thirteen matches played and were shockingly knocked-out of the FA Trophy after suffering a 0-3 defeat to Victoria Hotspurs. In their last league outing, their performance was quite good despite a 1-3 loss to Birkirkara. Mosta will be all out to take the three points after winning two out of the last three matches and defeating Senglea Athletic 6-1 in the FA Trophy third round.
New recruit Luis Alfred Pena Marquez is set to make his debut for Zebbug. Mosta will be without the suspended Kurt Magro and Dyson Falzon and the injured Mano Micallef.
In the first round, Mosta defeated Zebbug 2-0.
Pietà Hotspurs vs Tarxien Rainbows, 16:15 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
Pietà Hotspurs and Tarxien Rainbows are desperate for points as the two teams are currently second from bottom. The Hotspurs lost 1-3 to Mosta last week while in the FA Trophy managed to beat Pembroke Athleta 1-0 after extra-time. Tarxien, on the other hand, lost four of the last five matches – including a 0-6 defeat to Valletta – and are coming from a heavy 0-3 defeat to First Division side Gudja United in the FA Trophy.
Nikola Tasic is ruled out through suspension for Pietà but Cain Attard returns after missing the Valletta game. Tarxien have no players suspended but a number of players are still recovering from injuries.
In the first round, the two teams shared the spoils in a goalless draw.