Hibernians and Hamrun Spartans will be hoping to return to winning ways on Saturday as they take on Sliema Wanderers and Gzira United respectively in two of the three matches in programme.
At the Tony Bezzina Stadium, kick-off at 14:00, Mosta and Santa Lucia cross swords in a clash between two teams from the lower part of the table.
Three points separate the two teams with Mosta lying third from bottom on 15 points, followed by Santa Lucia on 12. The Blues registered a first win in three months as they defeated Balzan 3-2 last week after holding Hibernians in a 1-1 draw in the previous outing. Santa Lucia, on the other hand, held Hibernians in a goalless draw but are still chasing a first win since November 21 when they had defeated Birkirkara.
Santa Lucia’s Patrick Silva Mota and Mosta’s Luis Riascos are ruled out through suspension. However during the week, both sides were strengthened with the arrival of Lorenzo Soares Fonseca for Santa Lucia and Boubakary Diarra for Mosta.
In the first round, Mosta and Santa Lucia shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw.
At the National Stadium, kick-off at 16:00, Gzira United face Hamrun Spartans.
While the Spartans share third place with Birkirkara on 27 points, the Maroons are currently joint-sixth on 21 points. Hamrun are unbeaten in seven matches but dropped six points in the last three matches in three draws with Balzan, Birkirkara and Floriana. Gzira, on the other hand, won just one out of their last five matches, defeating Sliema, earning points in draws with Santa Lucia and Valletta but losing to Hibernians and 0-1 to Birkirkara in their last outing.
Hamrun will be without the suspended Karl Micallef, Claude Dielna and Emerson Marcelina. Hamrun also lost Matthew Guillaumier who joined Siena on loan but signed Swiss midfielder Matteo Fedele and goalkeeper Justin Spiteri.
In the first round, Gzira defeated Hamrun 1-0.
At the Tony Bezzina Stadium, kick-off at 18:00, Hibernians host Sliema Wanderers in a top-bottom clash.
Hibernians lead the way with 34 points while Sliema lie at the bottom of the table with 10. Hibernians dropped six points in three draws with Sirens, Mosta and Santa Lucia in their last three matches although they maintained their unbeaten record. Sliema, on the other hand, are coming from back-to-back wins over Balzan and Sirens.
The Paolites could not count on Gabriel Izquier Artiles, Jake Grech and Thaylor Aldama while Danny Holla is suspended for Sliema. Hibs continued to strengthen their squad with the signing of Ivorian midfielder Ali Diakité and Portuguese forward Hugo Filipe da Costa Oliveira.
In the first round, Hibernians defeated Sliema 3-0.