The remaining six teams will be in action on Saturday as they complete match-day one of the BOV Premier League 2017/18.
Valletta and Balzan target a winning start as they take on Mosta and Naxxar Lions respectively with Sliema Wanderers favourites to start the season with a win as they take on newly-promoted Senglea Athletic.
Balzan vs Naxxar Lions, kick-off 18:30 at Centenary Stadium
Balzan take on newly-promoted Naxxar Lions. After missing out on the title last season, Balzan will be aiming at winning their first major honour this season. The squad has been strengthened with the arrival of new foreigners, namely Antonio Mitrev, Kadu, Uros Ljubomirac and Alex da Paixao Alves with Milan Savic leaving the club after their UEFA Europa League commitments. From the local market, they secured the services of defenders Jacob Borg and Michael Johnson and goalkeepers Dorian Bugeja and Sean Mintoff.
Naxxar, on the other hand, signed Manolito Micallef and Tristan Nappa Licari and welcomed back Daren Falzon an secured the services of Italian trio Marco Botta, Diego Albanese, Francesco Serafino, Moroccan Hamza Kerroumi, Senegalese Ameth Lo and Japanese Go Nagaoka. For the Lions, the main objective will be that of retaining Premier League status.
Valletta vs Mosta, kick-off 20:45 at Centenary Stadium
After a disappointing season, Valletta hope to start this campaign on a positive note as they take on Mosta. The Citizens lured Henry Bonello and Joseph Zerafa from Birkirkara, signed Kyrian Nwoko from St. Andrews, Omani midfielder Raed Ibrahim Saleh and Serbian striker Nikola Asceric while Brazilian striker Denni Rocha dos Santos starts his second spell with the Citizens after playing in Bahrain and Iran and turning out for Hibernians and Sliema.
Mosta, on the other hand, had several changes in their squad, signing a number of new foreign players, namely Edison Bilbao Zarate, David Nworah, Semen Datsenko, Thomas Veronese, Cristian Fernandez and Emmanuel Oladejo. Their main target should be once again of getting a comfortable mid-table position.
Sliema Wanderers vs Senglea Athletic, kick-off 19:00 at Victor Tedesco Stadium
Sliema Wanderers take on newly-promoted Senglea Athletic, hoping to kick-off the new season with a win as they target a better placing than last season’s sixth place. Compared to other teams, Sliema were the least active side on the transfer market, signing just three players – Dylan Micallef from Tarxien Rainbows, Leandro Motta from Hamrun Spartans and Goran Adamovic from Mqabba.
Senglea, on the other hand, secured the services of experienced players like Ian Azzopardi, Steve Bonnici, Jonathan Bondin, Terence Scerri and goalkeeper Matthew Farrugia and foreigners Ivan Edgardo Paz, Augusto Caseres and Nicola Palmeri. Retaining Premier League status will be the main objective of Steve D’Amato’s side.