The second round of the BOV Premier League kicks-off on Saturday with leaders Balzan hoping to return to winning ways as they take on Mosta.
Birkirkara face St. Andrews, Valletta meet Sliema Wanderers and Tarxien Rainbows cross swords with Gzira United.
St. Andrews vs Birkirkara, kick-off 14:00 at National Stadium
Following a defeat to Hibernians and a draw with Floriana, Birkirkara will be aiming to return to winning ways as they take on St. Andrews. The Stripes are currently fourth on 20 points, four behind the leaders while St. Andrews, who are coming from a narrow win over Gzira are currently eighth.
Birkirkara welcome back Mislav Andjelkovic while St. Andrews could not count on the suspended Michael Johnson and the injured Daniel Brandle.
In the first round, Birkirkara defeated St. Andrews 4-0.
Sliema Wanderers vs Valletta, kick-off 16:00 at National Stadium
Third-placed Valletta hope to continue building on the 3-0 win over Hamrun Spartans in their last outing in order to keep the pressure on leaders Balzan and second-placed Hibernians. They lie three points behind the leaders and two behind the Paolites. The Wanderers are currently sixth after a positive run of six matches but in their last two games, they only earned two points in draws with Mosta and Balzan.
Alex Muscat and Mark Scerri are still in doubt for Sliema after missing the national team call-ups while Wisdom Salomon is ruled out injured. Henry Bonello returns for Valletta but Roderick Briffa is ruled out injured.
In the first round, Valletta defeated Sliema 2-1.
Tarxien Rainbows vs Gzira United, kick-off 14:00 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
Tarxien and Gzira cross swords in a clash between two teams who lost their coaches in the past days. Gzira coach Branko Nisevic stepped down and his assistant Darren Abdilla was appointed as their new coach. On the other hand, Tarxien agreed to terminate Jacques Scerri’s contract but what who was due to replace him, Kevin Vella, decided not to take the offer despite leading the team during a training session.
Gzira lost five out of the last six matches and are therefore eager to bounce back, especially after the 0-1 defeat to St. Andrews in their last outing. Tarxien also went six games without a win, losing the derby 1-2 to Hibernians two weeks ago. One point separates the two teams with Tarxien lying in ninth place and Gzira tenth.
The Maroons should have two new faces in squad – Italian goalkeeper Marco Boerchio and Mamadou Salieu Jallow.
In the first round, the two teams shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw.
Mosta vs Balzan, kick-off 16:15 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
After two consecutive draws with Tarxien and Sliema, Balzan cannot afford any result other than a win to make sure of retaining top spot. Mosta, on the other hand, are second from bottom and are coming from five games without a win – during which they collected two points – losing heavily to bottom-placed Pembroke in their last outing.
Balzan however are unable to field their best formation as Justin Grioli and Paul Fenech are ruled out injured while Christian Cassar, Alfred Effiong and Lyndon Micallef are suspended. However Elkin Serrano is back after serving a one-match ban.
Balzan defeated Mosta 3-2 in the first round.