Another difficult test for leaders Balzan

Leaders Balzan face another difficult test in their bid to secure their first ever major honour as they take on third-placed Birkirkara at the National Stadium on Saturday.

St. Andrews and Naxxar Lions chase precious points in the battle against relegation as they face Sliema Wanderers and Hamrun Spartans respectively while Floriana target the three points from the clash against Senglea Athletic.

Sliema Wanderers vs St. Andrews, kick-off 14:00 at Hibernians Stadium
St. Andrews seek a positive result from the clash with Sliema as they now lie third from bottom on 17 points, one behind Tarxien and one ahead of Naxxar. The Saints earned three points from the last four matches, losing only to Senglea. The Wanderers, on the other hand, lie in a most comfortable mid-table position as they are currently seventh on 33 points.

Kemmu Degran Jackson and Ricardo Adrian Martin are ruled for St. Andrews as they serve a one-match ban.

Sliema defeated St. Andrews 2-0 in the first round, also defeating them 3-1 in the FA Trophy.

Naxxar Lions vs Hamrun Spartans, kick-off 16:00 at Hibernians Stadium
After earning two points in draws with Hibernians and St. Andrews, Naxxar will be aiming for the three points in their bid to leapfrog Tarxien and possibly St. Andrews in the battle against relegation. However Hamrun still need two points to make sure of retaining their Premier League status and therefore after claiming the three points in a comfortable win over Senglea last week, they hope to win again to secure their status.

Hamrun’s Guilherme Felipe de Castro and Naxxar’s Daren Falzon are suspended.

In the first round, Hamrun defeated Naxxar.

Senglea Athletic vs Floriana, kick-off 14:00 at National Stadium
After beating Mosta 5-0, Floriana seek another three points in order to maintain the challenge for a place in the UEFA Europa League this summer. The Greens are currently fifth on 37 points, two behind Gzira and one ahead of Sliema. Senglea, on the other hand, are fifth from bottom and a positive result from this clash would boost their chances of retaining their Premier League status.

Senglea’s Gonzalo Julian Leyton and Floriana’s Clyde Borg are ruled out through suspension.

In the first round, Floriana defeated Senglea 3-0.

Birkirkara vs Balzan, kick-off 16:00 at National Stadium
After dropping six points in three draws out of the last four matches, leaders Balzan cannot afford any result other than a win in order to make sure of retaining the top spot in the BOV Premier League. Balzan are still unbeaten in nineteen matches but over the past five weeks, were held in draws by Valletta, Floriana and Gzira, defeating Lija Athletic in the other game.

Birkirkara, on the other hand, won nine of the last ten matches and are now third on 41 points, four behind Valletta and five behind Balzan. A win over the leaders would enable them to join the race for the title as this would put them just two points behind the leaders as they await the result of Valletta’s clash with Hibernians on Sunday.

Bojan Kaljevic is ruled for Balzan through suspension.

In the first round, Balzan defeated Birkirkara 2-1.