Balzan hope to return to winning ways

After losing five out of the last seven matches including back-to-back defeats to Tarxien and Valletta in their last two matches, Balzan will be aiming to bounce back as they take on Pembroke Athleta in one of the four matches in programme at the Victor Tedesco Stadium and Hibernians Stadium on Saturday.

Birkirkara face a tricky Mosta test while Floriana and Tarxien Rainbows are firm favourites to collect the three points as they take on St. Andrews and Naxxar Lions respectively.

Tarxien Rainbows vs Naxxar Lions, kick-off 14:00 at Hibernians Stadium
Sixth-placed Tarxien will be aiming to collect the three points as they take on a Naxxar Lions side that suffered three consecutive league defeats and a shock exit from the FA Trophy after losing to First Division side Lija Athletic. Carlos Menendez Hevia returns for Tarxien after serving a one-match ban but Ebiabowei Baker is suspended. Angus Buhagiar and Daren Falzon are also suspended for Naxxar but Blazo Rajovic will be back after missing the last league game. Tarxien beat Naxxar 5-0 in the first round.

Mosta vs Birkirkara, kick-off 16:00 at Hibernians Stadium
After a comfortable win over Pembroke, Birkirkara seek another three points in their bid to keep the pace with the leading duo. However Mosta, after being held in a 1-1 draw by Sliema last week, seek a positive result to narrow the gap with the top four teams. Josef Mansueto could not count on the injured Justin Haber and the suspended Frank Temile. Edin Murga returns for Mosta but Omar Borg is suspended. The first round clash ended in a 1-1 draw.

St. Andrews vs Floriana, kick-off 14:00 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
Floriana seek another three points to stay close to joint-leaders Hibernians and Valletta as they take a St. Andrews side hoping to avoid a sixteenth league defeat. The Saints registered their first win this season – in the FA Trophy – as they beat neighbours Swieqi United 4-2. Jurgen Pisani is ruled out injured for Floriana. Michael Johnson serves a one-match ban for St. Andrews. In the first round, Floriana beat St. Andrews 3-2.

Pembroke Athleta vs Balzan, kick-off 16:15 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
Pembroke and Balzan are both coming from back-to-back defeats and are therefore eager to return to winning ways. Balzan disappointed in recent outings and five defeats in the last seven matches saw them lose ground, falling from the top to the fifth place. They lost 0-3 to Tarxien and 1-2 to Valletta. Pembroke, on the other hand, are fourth from bottom after losing 0-2 to Sliema and 0-3 to Birkirkara. Balzan defeated Pembroke 5-1 in the first round.