Hibernians in must-win game against Floriana

Leaders Hibernians take on Floriana in one of the four BOV Premier League matches in programme on Saturday.

The first match at the Centenary Stadium, kick-off at 14:00, is the clash between Pietà Hotspurs vs Qormi – the two teams in the bottom two places in the BOV Premier League table.

Six points separate the two teams with the Hotspurs lying on the 10-point mark but Senglea’s win over Balzan on Friday pushed them to second from bottom. They are coming from five consecutive league defeats although they managed to eliminate Żejtun Corinthians from the FA Trophy. Qormi, on the other hand, lost the last twelve matches.

This week, the Hotspurs signed Georgian midfielder Gegi Kekua while Qormi secured the services of goalkeeper David Cassar.

In the first round, the two teams shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw.

In the second match at the Centenary Stadium, kick-off at 16:15, Tarxien Rainbows face Mosta.

The Rainbows, currently eighth on 19 points, collected four precious points in their last two league outings after holding Gżira in a draw and beating St. Andrews. Another win on Saturday would enable them to steer further away from the danger zone. In the FA Trophy, they defeated Żebbuġ Rangers 5-0.

Mosta, on the other hand, managed to eliminate Sliema Wanderers from the FA Trophy thanks to a 2-1 win. However they won only one game out of the last twelve matches, losing heavily to Senglea in their last outing.

Tarxien’s Daniel Zerafa is ruled out through suspension but former Gżira defender Destin Prince-Loic Mambouana could make his debut. Mosta could have new signings Jonas Rodrigues Ekani and Federico Franchini making their first appearance.

In the first round, Mosta defeated Tarxien 3-1.

Meanwhile in the first match at the Hibernians Stadium, kick-off at 14:00, St. Andrews take on Ħamrun Spartans.

The Spartans remained unbeaten in the last eight league matches. A series of positive results which puts them among the challengers for a place in the UEFA Europa League this summer. However they were eliminated from the FA Trophy after losing 1-2 to Birkirkara. A defeat which brought harsh protests by the Spartans which ended up with coach Giovanni Tedesco being banned for ten matches, team manager Gaetano Farruggio for one match and goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo for two.

The Saints, on the other hand, are currently joint-ninth, claiming just four points from the last five matches. Against Ħamrun, they will be all out to get a positive result to move to safer waters.

In the first round, Ħamrun defeated St. Andrews 1-0.

In the other match, kick-off at 16:00, leaders Hibernians host Floriana.

The Paolites, who lost 1-2 in the direct clash with Valletta two weeks ago, cannot afford any result other than a win, hoping that Valletta drop points in the clash with Birkirkara on Sunday. In the FA Trophy, they had a comfortable 4-0 win over Fgura United.

Floriana, on the other hand, are currently ninth, winning just one game out of the last five.

For Hibernians, Joseph Mbong serves a one-match ban. However a number of new faces could feature for the Paolites after they signed Jake Grech, goalkeeper Marko Jovicic and Brazilians Márcio Leandro Barbosa da Silveira and Rafael Tardini Monteiro. Floriana, on the other hand, secured the services of Kristian Keqi.

In the first round, Floriana defeated Hibernians 2-0.