Leaders Hibernians in top-bottom clash with Pembroke

New leaders Hibernians will be hoping to extend the lead on top the BOV Premier League table as they take on bottom-placed Pembroke Athleta in one of the four matches in programme on Saturday.

Floriana seek another positive result as they face Tarxien Rainbows, St. Andrews take on Hamrun Spartans while Gzira United and Mosta cross swords in a direct clash between two teams desperate for points.

Floriana vs Tarxien Rainbows, kick-off 14:00 at Hibernians Stadium
After winning five out of the last seven matches, Floriana start as firm favourites to extend their positive run to eight matches as they take on a Tarxien Rainbows side who won just one out of the last nine matches. Last week, the Greens were in fine form as they defeated the then leaders Balzan 3-1 while Tarxien were held in a 1-1 draw by St. Andrews.

Maurizio Vella and Mario Fontanella return for Floriana but Ignacio Varela serves a one-match ban. Daniel Zerafa will be back for Tarxien.

In the first round, Tarxien defeated Floriana 1-0.

Hibernians vs Pembroke Athleta, kick-off 16:00 at Hibernians Stadium
Hibs will be aiming for a seventh consecutive win as they take on a Pembroke Athleta side who lost six out of the last seven matches. Last week, the Paolites defeated Mosta 2-0 while Pembroke suffered a 0-3 defeat to Valletta.

Bjorn Kristensen and Jackson Lima will be back for Hibernians after serving a one-match ban but Jorginho is ruled out injured. Pembroke should be in full strength but coach Artim Shakiri have limited options after having to deal with the departure of a number of players over the past weeks.

Hibs defeated Pembroke 2-1 in the first round.

Gzira United vs Mosta, kick-off 14:00 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
Gzira United and Mosta cross swords in a direct clash between two teams sharing the second place from bottom on nine points. Gzira lost the last seven matches and have gone nine matches without a win. They also failed to score in any of the last five matches. Mosta, on the other hand, failed to win any of their last eight matches and failed to score any goal in the last four matches. In their last outing, Mosta lost 0-2 to Hibernians while Gzira suffered a narrow defeat to neighbours Sliema.

Darren Abdilla could not count on the injured Moises Avila Perez and the suspended Tony while for Mosta, Adrian Caruana and Dexter Xuereb will be back after serving a one-match ban but Dany Djoufack and Chinatu Francis Onwudinjo are suspended.

Mosta defeated Gzira 2-1 in the first round.

St. Andrews vs Hamrun Spartans, kick-off 16:15 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
After rescuing a point in a draw with Tarxien last week, St. Andrews will be aiming for precious points at they take on Hamrun Spartans. The Saints lost just one out of the last five matches and currently lie five points behind the Spartans who are coming from back-to-back victories over Gzira and Birkirkara.

Michael Johnson and Karlo Kesinovic will be back for St. Andrews after serving a suspension but Daniel Brandle is still recovering from an injury. Hamrun, on the other hand, are expected to be in full strength.

Hamrun beat St. Andrews 3-1 in the first round.