Top four seek wins

Hibernians, Birkirkara, Valletta and Floriana start as favourites to claim the three points on Thursday as they take on four teams battling against relegation in the four matches in programme at the National Stadium and the Hibernians Stadium.

Hibs take on Naxxar Lions, Birkirkara face Pietà Hotspurs, Valletta meet Mosta and Floriana take on Qormi.

Birkirkara vs Pieta’ Hotspurs, kick-off 14:00 at National Stadium
Birkirkara, unbeaten for fourteen matches, hope to return to winning ways after being held in a goalless draw by Floriana during the weekend. It will be no easy game for the Stripes considering that Pietà managed to beat them 4-3 in the second roundalthough they had won the first round clash 2-1. The Hotspurs are currently joint-second from bottom on 12 points together with Qormi and Zebbug, one ahead of Tarxien.

Paul Fenech and Ini Etim Akpan return for Birkirkara after serving a one-match ban.

Valletta vs Mosta, kick-off 16:00 at National Stadium
Valletta target a fourth consecutive win as they take on Mosta. Their narrow 2-1 win over Pietà put them just one point behind Birkirkara but they still lie eleven points behind leaders Hibernians.

After failing to win any of the previous seven matches, the Blues returned to winning ways during the weekend as they beat Zebbug Rangers 3-1. A win which put them five points ahead of Qormi, Zebbug and Pietà and six ahead of Tarxien.

Gary Roberts and Dyson Falzon return for Mosta after serving a one-match ban but Karl Pulo is suspended. Valletta lack the injured Djamel Leeflang and Lateef Elford Alliyu.

Mosta defeated Valletta 1-0 but the second round clash ended in a 5-0 win for the Citizens.

Floriana vs Qormi, kick-off 14:00 at Hibernians Stadium
Floriana seek a first win over Qormi this season as they latter defeated Floriana 4-2 in the first round with the second round clash ending in a 2-2 draw. In the FA Trophy fourth round, Qormi defeated Floriana 3-1.

The Greens are unbeaten in seven matches and three wins in the last four games put them in fourth place. They held Birkirkara in a goalless draw during the weekend. Qormi lost ten of the last twelve matches and are coming from a 1-2 defeat to Naxxar.

Alfred Effiong returns for Qormi after serving a suspension but Edafe Uzeh and Duncan Pisani must serve a one-match ban. Floriana could not count on the injured Andre Scicluna and Steve Bonnici.

Hibernians vs Naxxar Lions, kick-off 16:00 at Hibernians Stadium
Hibernians target a twenty-fourth win in twenty-seven matches as they face Naxxar Lions. Lying ten points clear, the Paolites would move a step closer to the title with a win over Naxxar after beating Tarxien in their last outing. The Lions collected six points from the last two matches after identical 2-1 wins over Zebbug and Qormi. Another positive result would definitely another important step towards securing their status.

Hibs coach Branko Nisevic could not count on Tarabai Santos who has now left for South Korea, the suspended Andrei Agius and the injured Marcelo Dias. Brazilian Luis Andre is set to replace Tarabai in attack. Frank Temile should be back in attack but Gilmar is ruled out through suspension.

The Paolites defeated Naxxar 5-1 and 2-0 in the previous rounds.