Hibernians will be all out to claim the three points on Saturday as they take on neighbours Tarxien Rainbows in one of the four BOV Premier League matches in programme at the National Stadium and Victor Tedesco Stadium.
Valletta face a tough task as they meet Hamrun Spartans, St. Andrews play Gzira United while Mosta take on Pembroke Athleta.
Tarxien Rainbows vs Hibernians, kick-off 14:00 at National Stadium
Tarxien will be without the suspended Ebiabowei Baker, Emerson Marcelina, Daniel Ponce de Leon and Alex Nilsson apart from the injured Ayrton Azzopard as they face Hibernians in the derby. It will therefore be a difficult task to stop the Paolites from extending their positive run to six matches after winning three out of the last five matches, including last week’s narrow win over Birkirkara and two draws. A win over Tarxien would put them just one point behind leaders Balzan.
Tarxien have gone five matches without a win, earning three points in draws, including last Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Balzan. They are currently joint-eighth on ten points from ten matches.
For Hibernians, Jonathan Pearson is unavailable.
Hamrun Spartans vs Valletta, kick-off 16:00 at National Stadium
After being held in a draw by St. Andrews, Valletta are eager to return to winning ways as they face their main rivals in the eighties – Hamrun Spartans. The Citizens share fourth-place with Floriana and a win over Hamrun would enable them to leapfrog Birkirkara in second or third place, depending on the result of the Tarxien-Hibs derby.
Hamrun are currently seventh on 14 points, four behind Valletta and are coming from a 2-1 win over Pembroke.
Goalkeeper David Cassar is ruled out injured for Hamrun while Valletta goalkeeper Henry Bonello serves the third of his three-match ban.
St. Andrews vs Gzira United, kick-off 14:00 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
St. Andrews eye precious points from the clash with Gzira United after holding Valletta in a draw last week. They lie in the eighth place, along with Tarxien, one point ahead of Gzira. The Maroons lost to Valletta, Birkirkara and Floriana in their last three outings and are therefore eager to return to winning ways.
Jamie Azzopardi is once again available for selection after serving a one-match ban for Gzira. For St. Andrews, Daniel Brandle is still recovering from an injury.
Mosta vs Pembroke Athleta, kick-off 16:15 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
Bottom duo Mosta and Pembroke Athleta cross swords in a clash between two teams desperate for points. Four points separate the two teams with Mosta lying on the 8-point mark and Pembroke at the bottom with four.
Pembroke lost the last three matches and are therefore still chasing their first points since the appointment of Artim Shaqiri as their new coach. Mosta, on the other hand, are coming from a 1-1 draw with Sliema last week.