Balzan seek derby win in top-bottom clash

Balzan cannot afford anything other than the three points as they take on neighbours Lija Athletic in a top-bottom clash from the BOV Premier League at the National Stadium on Sunday.

Senglea Athletic and St. Andrews cross swords in a direct clash between two teams fighting against relegation, Gzira United take on Floriana while Sliema Wanderers face Tarxien Rainbows.

Senglea Athletic vs St. Andrews, kick-off 14:00 at Hibernians Stadium
Senglea and St. Andrews chase precious points from this direct clash between two teams lying just outside the danger zone as Senglea are currently tenth on 19 points followed by St. Andrews on 16. Senglea lost three out of the last five matches, losing 1-5 to Hibernians in their last outing. The Saints, on the other hand, are coming from four positive results after a draw with Hamrun, a win over Floriana and draws with Gzira and Mosta.

St. Andrews registered a narrow 1-0 win over Senglea in the first round.

Gzira United vs Floriana, kick-off 16:00 at Hibernians Stadium
Gzira and Floriana will be aiming for maximum points from this clash as they chase a place in the UEFA Europa League this summer. The Maroons are currently joint-third on 37 points and the Greens sixth on 33. After a defeat to Hibs and a draw with St. Andrews, Gzira returned to winning ways in their last league match as they defeated Hamrun 2-1. The Greens, on the other hand, earned four points from their last two matches after beating Hamrun and a draw with Balzan.

Maurizio Vella is still ruled out for Floriana as he serves the last of a three-match ban. Clyde Borg is also suspended for the Greens.

In the first round, Floriana and Gzira shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw.

Lija Athletic vs Balzan, kick-off 14:00 at National Stadium
Neighbours Lija and Balzan face each other for the second time in a week after Balzan eliminated Lija from the FA Trophy, beating them 3-1. Both sides are desperate for points as Lija lie at the bottom of the table and seem destined for a quick return to Division 1 while leaders Balzan saw the gap at the top go down to just one point after back-to-back draws with Valletta and Floriana.

Elkin Serrano is ruled out for Balzan as he serves a one-match ban.

In the first round, Balzan defeated Lija 4-3.

Sliema Wanderers vs Tarxien Rainbows, kick-off 16:00 at National Stadium
Following a fine 5-2 win in a direct clash against Naxxar, Tarxien Rainbows chase precious points from this clash with Sliema as they are currently second from bottom, one point behind Naxxar and two behind St. Andrews. The Wanderers lie in a most comfortable mid-table position and are coming from a narrow 1-2 defeat to Birkirkara in their last league outing although they eliminated Hibernians from the FA Trophy, defeating them on penalties.

Sliema’s Stefano Bianciardi and Tarxien’s Sean Cipriott are ruled out through suspension.

In the first round, Tarxien defeated Sliema 2-1.