Do-or-die for Valletta as Citizens take on Hibernians in top-of-the-table clash

Leaders Hibernians cross swords with second-placed Valletta in a top-of-the-table clash at the National Stadium on Sunday which could put the Paolites fifteen points clear or see Valletta narrow the gap to nine points.

Hibernians had a perfect season so far after winning thirteen of the fourteen matches played, dropping their only points in a draw with neighbours Tarxien Rainbows. Valletta, on the other hand, had a rather shaky start, losing four out of the first eight matches but are now coming from a run of six consecutive wins.

The Paolites have the best forward-line – scoring forty-five goals in fourteen matches – and the best rear-guard – conceding just seven. The Citizens, on the other hand, scored thirty-four and conceded eight.

Both are coming from a run of six successive wins. Hibs defeated Birkirkara, Mosta, Balzan, Floriana and Qormi before beating Sliema 2-1 last week while Valletta registered wins over Naxxar, Balzan, Zebbug, Mosta and Tarxien before beating Floriana 4-1 in their last outing.

The two teams are expected to be in full strength with the only doubt being Marcelo Dias of Hibernians who missed the last two games.

In the first round, Hibs defeated Valletta 2-1.

Meanwhile in the first match on Sunday, Qormi could join Mosta in fourth place should they beat Sliema Wanderers.

One point seperates the two teams with Qormi in joint-seventh position with Naxxar and Sliema in the ninth place. Qormi have gone five matches without a win, however collecting four points in the process thanks to four draws. The Wanderers, on the other hand, lost four out of the last five matches.

Both coaches have major concerns with regards to injured or suspended players. Bjorn Bondin, Mauricio Mazzetti and Zoran Levnajic are ruled out through suspension for Qormi while for Sliema, Fabio Mangiacasale is suspended while Michael Mifsud, Alex Muscat, Mark Scerri, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino and Andrea Pisanu are ruled out injured.

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