Hibernians, Zebbug in top-bottom clash

Leaders Hibernians will be aiming at extending their positive run on top the BOV Premier League table as they take on bottom-placed Zebbug Rangers in one of the four matches in programme on Sunday.

Birkirkara face Mosta, Tarxien Rainbows cross swords with Balzan while Sliema Wanderers take on Pietà Hotspurs.

Mosta vs Birkirkara, kick-off 14:00 at Hibernians Stadium
Birkirkara target a fourth win in five matches as they face a Mosta side eager for points after collecting just one point from the last three matches, suffering defeats to Naxxar and Balzan in their last two outings. The Stripes defeated Qormi 2-0 in their last game and a win over Mosta would allow them to re-join Valletta in second place.

Th Stripes welcome back Ryan Scicluna and Paul Fenech who missed the last game. Vyacheslav Shevchenko is no longer in squad after being released. Mosta, on the other hand, will be without the suspended Tyrone Farrugia and Pedrinho apart from Bojan Kaljevic who joined Balzan and Kurt Zammit who joined Zebbug Rangers on loan.

Birkirkara defeated Mosta 2-0 in the first round.

Hibernians vs Zebbug Rangers, kick-off 16:00 at Hibernians Stadium
Hibernians target a sixteenth win in seventeen matches as they face Zebbug Rangers. By scoring fifty-one goals and conceding just eight, the Paolites have the best forward-line and the best rear-guard. They are coming from eight consecutive wins, defeating Pietà 3-0 before the Christmas break. Marcelo Dias will be back but Bjorn Kristensen is suspended.

After collecting four points in a draw with Mosta and a win over Tarxien, Zebbug suffered a heavy 1-4 defeat to Floriana and lie five points behind Pietà. Over the past days, Zebbug released goalkeeper Fabricio Rapchan, Ratko Mandic, Luis Peña Marquez, Bojan Mamic and John Nwoba and agreed to sign Manuel Bartolo, Paltemio Barbetti, Kurt Zammit and Rashid Yussuff but these are all unable to make their debut as the January transfer window will open on Monday.

In the first round, Hibs defeated Zebbug 4-0.

Sliema Wanderers vs Pietà Hotspurs, kick-off 14:00 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
After losing three out of the last four matches, Sliema Wanderers are keen to take the three points in order to climb up the table as they currently lie in seventh place. Pietà on the other hand, lost to Hibernians after holding Tarxien and Floriana in draws.

Trevor Cilia will be back for Sliema after serving a one-match ban bit Clifford Gatt Baldacchino and Michael Mifsud are still recovering from injuries. Leo Fortunato and Gabriel are suspended for Pietà, Nikola Tasic and Rafael Xavier have been released while Terence Agius has been transferred to Balzan.

Sliema defeated Pietà 2-0 in the first round.

Tarxien Rainbows vs Balzan, kick-off 16:15 at Victor Tedesco Stadium

After ending their disappointing streak with a narrow win over Naxxar, Tarxien target another positive result in their bid to move away from the danger zone. But theirs will be no easy task as Balzan aim for the three points in order to move back in fourth place following a draw with Birkirkara and a narrow win over Mosta in their last two games.

Terence Agius is set to make his debut for Balzan after joining the club from Pietà and his registration could be processed due to his amateur status. However Oscar Guerrero and Edison Bilbao Zarate are suspended. Tarxien, on the other hand, could not count on the suspended Carlos Menendez Hevia. They have released Alvaro Silva Branquinho, Clebinho and Jorge Santos.

Balzan defeated Tarxien 3-2 in the first round.