Delicate test for Valletta as they face Balzan

Valletta will be aiming for a sixth consecutive win on Sunday as they take on Balzan in one of the two BOV Premier League matches in programme at the National Stadium.

After Hibernians dropped another two points in a 1-1 draw with Mosta, Valletta would move to eleven points behind the Paolites, therefore starting the second phase with not more than five points separating them from the leaders if both sides win their last game next week.

However the Citizens’ task will be no easy one considering that Balzan are aiming at obtaining another positive result after an impressive 5-3 win over Sliema Wanderers to stay close behind the top-three.

Nigerian Ikenna Hilary is set to make his debut for Valletta but Steve Borg is ruled out through suspension. Elkin Serrano returns for Balzan after serving a one-match ban.

Valletta defeated Balzan 2-0 in the first round.

Meanwhile in the first match, Birkirkara hope to return to winning ways as they take on Sliema Wanderers.

The Stripes managed to hold Hibernians in a 1-1 draw last week, therefore falling in third place two points behind Valletta. A win over Sliema would ensure the gap with the leaders would not be beyond reach.

Sliema, on the other hand, won just two out of the last eight matches, collecting just one point from the last three matches after a defeat to Zebbug, a draw with Naxxar and a defeat to Balzan.

Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Michael Mifsud and Aidan Friggieri are ruled out injured for Sliema with Pedro dos Santos Calcado and Mark Scerri serving a one-match ban. Birkirkara’s Zach Muscat is also suspended but Rowen Muscat is back with the club after a short spell in Hungary.

In the first round, Birkirkara defeated Sliema 1-0.