Gzira, Birkirkara seek morale-boosting win

Gzira United and Birkirkara will be all out to claim maximum points at the National Stadium on Sunday, kick-off at 16:00, as the two cross swords in a direct clash between two teams fighting for a place in the UEFA Europa League this summer.

The Maroons are currently third on 34 points but last week’s narrow defeat to Hibernians brought their unbeaten record to an end. Lying seven points behind Valletta and nine behind the Paolites, they hope to return to winning ways. They won just two out of the last nine league matches with no less than six matches ending in draws.

Leading Gzira for the first time will be Jesmond Zerafa who took over as their new coach following the departure of Darren Abdilla.

On the other hand, Birkirkara are currently sixth on 29 points. After winning four out of the previous five matches, the Stripes lost to Valletta and earned just one point in a draw with Floriana. A win would enable them to leapfrog Sliema Wanderers and move fifth, one point behind Hamrun and two behind Gzira.

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

Meanwhile in the first match, kick-off at 14:00, Pietà Hotspurs take on Balzan.

The Hotspurs lost their last nine league matches and now that they share the bottom spot with Qormi, they cannot afford not halting this negative trend. However the absence of the suspended Antonio Orlando Macedo Neto and Christian Grech definitely makes it more difficult.

On the other hand, Balzan chase their first win following the appointment of Jacques Scerri as their new coach following a draw with Mosta last week.

In the first round, Balzan registered a narrow 1-0 win.