Must-win games for Valletta and Hibernians

Valletta and Hibernians cannot afford any result other than a win on Saturday as they take on Pembroke Athleta and Mosta respectively in two of the BOV Premier League matches in programme at the National Stadium and the Hibernians Stadium.

In the other two matches, Gzira United cross swords with neigbours Sliema Wanderers while St. Andrews face Tarxien Rainbows.

Gzira United vs Sliema Wanderers, kick-off 14:00 at Hibernians Stadium
After winning three out of the last four matches including three consecutive wins over St. Andrews, Tarxien and Hamrun, Gzira United seek precious points from the clash with neighbours Sliema who lie just six points over the Maroons after back-to-back defeats to Valletta and Hibernians. Gzira need the points in order to climb further up the table as they are currently ninth on 25 points. The Blues, on the other hand, lie a comfortable mid-table position.

The Wanderers could not count on the suspended Mark Scerri and Stefano Bianciardi but Denni Rocha dos Santos will be back after serving a one-match ban. Gzira welcome back Moises Avila Perez.

Gzira defeated Sliema 1-0 in the first round while Sliema beat Gzira 1-0 in the second.

St. Andrews vs Tarxien Rainbows, kick-off 16:00 at Hibernians Stadium
Despite going nine matches without a win, St. Andrews continued to collect precious points with a draw against Floriana in their last outing. They are currently tenth on the 24-point mark, eight ahead of Mosta. Tarxien, on the other hand, are eager to return to winning ways after three 0-1 defeats in their last three outings to Hibernians, Gzira and Birkirkara. They are currently seventh, five points ahead of St. Andrews.

Godwin Mckay and Enmy Manuel Pena Beltre are ruled out through suspension for St. Andrews. Alex da Paixao Alves returns for Tarxien after missing the last game.

St. Andrews beat Tarxien 1-0 in the first round while the second round clash ended in a 1-1 draw.

Valletta vs Pembroke Athleta, kick-off 14:00 at National Stadium
Valletta target a fourth consecutive win and an eighth successive positive result as they take on bottom-placed Pembroke Athleta who lost 2-5 to Balzan in their last outing to remain anchored at the bottom of the Premier League table. The Citizens, on the other hand, lie in third place, four points behind the leaders and a win would enable them to maintain the pressure on Balzan and Hibs.

For Valletta, Leandro Aguirre is suspended but Steve Borg returns after missing the last game. Andrea Scozzese, Owen Bugeja and Brooke Farrugia will be back from suspensions.

In the first two rounds, Valletta defeated Pembroke 5-1 and 3-0.

Hibernians vs Mosta, kick-off 16:00 at National Stadium
After three narrow wins against St. Andrews, Tarxien and Sliema in three out of the four matches, Hibernians seek maximum points from the clash with Mosta in their bid to regain the top spot ahead of Balzan’s clash with Floriana on Sunday. For Mosta, who lie second from bottom on 16 points, this will be the third consecutive clash against one of the challengers for the title after losing 1-7 to Balzan and 0-4 to Valletta.

Hibernians defeated Mosta twice earlier this season – 3-1 and 2-0.