Valletta firm favourites against depleted Rainbows

Valletta start as firm favourites to take home the three points as they take on a depleted Tarxien Rainbows side in one of the two BOV Premier League matches in programme at the National Stadium on Sunday.

The Citizens returned to winning ways last week with a 3-1 win over Qormi and another win over Tarxien would put them three points behind Birkirkara and four ahead of fourth-placed Floriana.

Tarxien lie at the bottom of the table with 11 points, together with Naxxar, and are coming from three successive defeats to Hibernians, Sliema and Floriana.

The Rainbows could not count on the suspended Owen Bugeja, Carlos Menendez Hevia, Firas Aboulezz and Mouhamed Soly. For Valletta, Steve Borg is suspended but Lateef Elford-Alliyu could be back after missing the last game.

Valletta were held in a goalless draw by Tarxien in the first round but the second round clash ended in a comfortable 6-0 win.

Meanwhile in the first match, Naxxar Lions take on Zebbug Rangers in a clash between two teams desperate for points.

Naxxar won just one of the last nine matches and are coming from two consecutive defeats to Birkirkara and Balzan. Zebbug, on the other hand, lost heavily to Hibernians last week but won three of the previous four matches. They lie on the 12-point mark together with Qormi and Pietà, one point ahead of Naxxar and Tarxien.

Both teams are expected to be in full strength.

The first round clash ended in a 3-3 draw but Naxxar beat Zebbug 4-0 in the second round.