Hibernians target win to extend lead

Despite a defeat in the direct clash with Valletta on Wednesday, Hibernians could extend the lead on top the BOV Premier League table on Sunday if they beat Floriana in one of the four matches in programme at the National Stadium and Hibernians Stadium.

Meanwhile St. Andrews and Tarxien Rainbows would secure their Premier League status with a draw as they face bottom duo Pembroke Athleta and Mosta respectively while Hamrun Spartans need a win over Sliema to make sure of avoiding relegation.

St. Andrews vs Pembroke Athleta, kick-off 16:00 at Hibernians Stadium
After beating Mosta 2-1, St. Andrews start as favourites to collect another three points from the clash against neighbours Pembroke Athleta. The Saints lost just one game out of the last six. Pembroke, on the other hand, remain at the bottom of the table after losing the last seven matches and are coming from a 0-2 defeat to Birkirkara.

Bong Won Che should be back for St. Andrews after serving a one-match ban.

St. Andrews beat Pembroke 4-1 in the first round while the second round clash ended in a 2-2 draw.

Tarxien Rainbows vs Mosta, kick-off 18:00 at Hibernians Stadium
Tarxien will be hoping to return to winning ways after earning two points in two draws with Hamrun and Sliema. They failed to win any of their last nine matches. Mosta, on the other hand, lost ten out of the last eleven matches. In their last outings, Tarxien held Sliema in a 1-1 draw while Mosta lost 1-2 to St. Andrews.

Sacha Borg and Ebiabowei Baker are ruled out for Tarxien due to suspension.

The first round clash ended in a 1-1 draw while Tarxien beat Mosta 2-0 in the second round.

Hamrun Spartans vs Sliema Wanderers, kick-off 16:00 at National Stadium
After failing to win any of their last nine matches, Hamrun Spartans will be aiming for a win to make sure of retaining their place in the Premier League. The Spartans are currently third from bottom and lost three out of the last five matches, losing 1-2 to Floriana on Wednesday. Sixth-placed Sliema are unbeaten in four matches and shared the spoils in a draw with Tarxien earlier this week.

Hamrun’s Igor Misan and Sliema’s Jean Paul Farrugia are unavailable as they serve one-match bans.

Sliema beat Hamrun 3-0 in the first round but the second round clash ended in a 2-1 win for Hamrun.

Floriana vs Hibernians, kick-off 18:00 at National Stadium
Leaders Hibernians would move four points clear of Valletta and five of Balzan should they beat Floriana in Sunday’s big match. Before Wednesday’s narrow defeat to Valletta, the Paolites had won six of the previous seven matches. However Floriana will be all out to earn a positive result as they continue to target the fourth place. They are currently fifth on 50 points, four behind Birkirkara and seven behind Balzan. On Wednesday, they defeated Hamrun 2-1.

Justin Haber and Steve Pisani are both suspended for Floriana but Enrico Pepe, Nicolas Chiesa and Ryan Camenzuli will be back after serving one-match bans.

The clashes between Hibernians and Floriana in the previous rounds ended in two draws – 0-0 and 2-2.