Hibernians take on Gzira United in the main match from the BOV Premier League on Saturday.
Floriana hope to return to winning ways as they take on St. Andrews while in the other two matches precious points will be at stake in two clashes between teams from the lower part of the table as Lija Athletic face Naxxar Lions and Tarxien Rainbows meet Mosta.
Lija Athletic vs Naxxar Lions, kick-off 14:00 at Centenary Stadium
Fresh from the 2-1 win over Tarxien in the FA Trophy fourth round, Lija Athletic will be aiming for a positive result as they take on Naxxar Lions. Lija lie at the bottom of the table with five points and are coming from five consecutive defeats in the last five league outings.
Naxxar, on the other hand, are currently joint-eleventh on 11 points and lost just two out of the last five matches. Following two draws with Balzan and Sliema, they lost narrowly to Valletta and were then eliminated from the FA Trophy by Balzan after a 0-2 defeat.
Both sides will be unable to field their best formation as Naxxar’s Angus Buhagiar and Lija’s Patrick Borg are suspended.
In the first round, Naxxar and Lija shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw.
St. Andrews vs Floriana, kick-off 16:15 at Centenary Stadium
After losing three out of the last five matches, Floriana will be hoping to return to winning ways as they take on St. Andrews who won just one out of the last ten matches. The Greens are currently fourth and following the narrow defeat to Hibernians, must win against St. Andrews to make sure of retaining fourth place. St. Andrews, on the other hand, are currently third from bottom and following a 1-1 draw with Hamrun in their last league outing, eye another positive result to climb out of the danger zone.
Steve Pisani is ruled out for Floriana as he serves a one-match ban while Tristan Grant and Adrian Borg are suspended for St. Andrews.
Floriana defeated St. Andrews 4-0 in the first round.
Tarxien Rainbows vs Mosta, kick-off 14:00 at Hibernians Stadium
After losing 0-3 to Birkirkara and a shock elimination from the FA Trophy at the hands of First Division side Zejtun, Mosta will be eager to bounce back with a win over Tarxien. Eight points separate the two teams as Mosta share the ninth place with Senglea on 18 points with the Rainbows lying second from bottom on ten. Tarxien lost eight out of the last nine matches, winning only against St. Andrews.
Mosta coach Johann Scicluna could not count on Zach Brincat and Dexter Xuereb while Eduard Calin, Ricardo Silva Faria and Antonio Mitrev are ruled out for Tarxien.
Mosta beat Tarxien 3-1 in the first round.
Hibernians vs Gzira United, kick-off 16:00 at Hibernians Stadium
Gzira United will be all out to claim the three points as they take on Hibernians in order to close in on Valletta and Balzan after the Citizens only managed to earn a point in a draw with Sliema on Friday. Third-placed Gzira lie five points ahead of Hibernians after winning three out of the last four league matches. The Paolites, on the other hand, returned to winning ways in their last league outing as they beat Floriana 1-0 before beating Xewkija Tigers 3-0 in the FA Trophy fourth round.
Gzira could field their new signings, French defender Prince Mambouana and former Qormi central defender Kris Thackray. Hibernians will be without the suspended Jackson de Lima Siqueira and Joseph Essien Mbong.
The Maroons registered a 3-2 win over Hibernians in the first round.