Hibernians will be celebrating the thirteenth championship in the history of the club as they take on Gzira United while Birkirkara and Hamrun Spartans will be battling for third place as the final two matches from the BOV Premier League Top Six final round are played on Saturday at 16:00.
At the Tony Bezzina Stadium, Hibernians will be the first club to be able the lift the trophy at their own stadium. The first championship for Ranier Bezzina in his first season as president after he took over from his father Tony Bezzina who passed away last year. This thirteenth title also arrives as the club celebrates its hundredth anniversary.
Hibernians had started the season with three wins over Gzira, Gudja, Sirens and Mosta, dropping their first points in a draw with Santa Lucia. They defeated Sliema but then were held in draws by Valletta and Birkirkara. Two wins over Hamrun and Balzan followed and then a draw with a Floriana. However before the Christmas break, Hibs collected six points in two wins over Gzira and Gudja. In January, the Paolites failed to win, earning just three points in draws with Sirens, Mosta and Santa Lucia. They returnjed to winning ways by defeating Sliema and following a comfortable win over Valletta, they suffered their first defeat, losing 2-3 for Birkirkara. A draw with Hamrun the following week cost them the top spot as Floriana took sole leadership.
A narrow win over Balzan was followed by a fine 4-1 with over Floriana to regain the top spot and although they lost 1-2 to Hamrun in the first match from the final round, a goalless draw with Floriana ensured they retained the leadership. Hibs then defeated Gudja 2-0 and Birkirkara 3-1 to secure the title.
Meanwhile for their opponents on Saturday, Gzira United, this game could provide a slim chance of a Should they beat the Paolites while Hamrun and Birkirkara share the spoils in a draw, Gzira and Hamrun would finish joint-third. In case of a win over Hibs and a win for either Birkirkara or Hamrun, Gzira would move fourth. In case of a draw between Gzira and Hibernians, the Maroons should hope Hamrun beat Birkirkara to force a possible decider for fourth place which could mean a UEFA Europa Conference League spot, depending on who wins the Izibet FA Trophy.
This season, Gzira United lost twice to Hibernians with an identical 1-3 score.
Meanwhile the clash between Birkirkara and Hamrun Spartans could be considered a decider for a place in the UEFA Europa Conference League. Hamrun lie one point ahead of their opponents but a draw could not be enough for them to secure third place should Gzira beat Hibs. Therefore a win is a must for both sides.
In case of a draw, Hamrun could take third place, only if Gzira fail to beat Hibernians. Otherwise a decider would be necessary to determine which team would make it to European football. This would be played on Thursday 12.
Birkirkara defeated Hamrun 2-1 in the first round clash while the second match ended in a goalless draw.