Mosta, Naxxar seek derby win

Following their first round defeat, Birkirkara seek revenge as they take on Balzan in one of the four BOV Premier League matches in programme on Saturday but all eyes will be on the Mosta – Naxxar derby as both sides eye precious points.

Floriana face Pietà Hotspurs and Tarxien Rainbows take on Zebbug Rangers in the other two matches.

Floriana vs Pietà Hotspurs, kick-off 14:00 at Hibernians Stadium
After losing 1-4 to rivals Valletta, Floriana will be hoping to bounce back with a win in their bid to climb further up the table. They won three of the last four matches and are currently joint-sixth on seventeen points. Pietà, on the other hand, won just one of the last five matches and are currently second from bottom with Tarxien following a goalless draw in a direct clash with them last week.

Pietà’s Nikola Tasic and Floriana’s Amadou Samb are suspended. Andre Scicluna will be back after serving a one-match ban.

In the first round, Floriana defeated Pietà 3-1.

Mosta vs Naxxar Lions, kick-off 16:00 at Hibernians Stadium
Mosta and Naxxar will be all out for the three points in a direct clash between two teams eager for victory. The Blues are currently fourth after winning two out of the last four matches, disappointing in a 1-1 draw with Zebbug last week. Naxxar, on the other hand, won three out of the last five matches, losing 1-3 to Birkirkara in their last league outing. Although they are currently ninth, a win over their rivals would put the Lions just three points behind them.

Kurt Magro and Dyson Falzon will be back for Mosta after serving a one-match ban but Tyrone Farrugia is suspended. Victor Bellia and Pablo Doffo return for Naxxar.

In the first round, the two teams shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw.

Tarxien Rainbows vs Zebbug Rangers, kick-off 14:00 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
Tarxien and Zebbug cross swords in a must-win clash between two bottom sides. Tarxien have now gone seven matches without a win, collecting just three points in draws in the process. Zebbug, on the other hand, are still seeking their first win after fourteen matches. A win would enabled them to reduce the gap with the Rainbows and Pietà.

Zebbug will be without the suspended Carlo Monti. Owen Bugeja and Firas Aboulezz are still recovering from injuries for Tarxien.

The first round clash ended in a 3-3 draw.

Birkirkara vs Balzan, kick-off 16:15 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
Nothing except a win would satisfy Birkirkara as they face Balzan as they aim to keep the pace with Hibernians and Valletta. The 2-3 first round loss was the first of five defeats for the Stripes so far, leaving them no less than thirteen points behind the leaders.

However Balzan are eager to end their disappointing run as they have now gone over two months without a league win after five draws and three defeats from the last eight matches.

Balzan defender Samir Arab and Birkirkara’s Matheus Bissi da Silva are ruled out through suspension. Osa Ice-Cream Guobadia returns for Oliver Spiteri’s side after serving a suspension.