FA Trophy winners Hibernians start their BOV Premier League campaign with what promises to be an interesting clash with Mosta in one of the two matches in programme at the Hibernians Stadium on Monday.
The Paolites only had minor changes since last season with the signing of John Nwoba, Anderson Mendes Ribeiro and Zoran Levnaic, losing Edison Luis dos Santos to Kecskemet in Hungary. However under the guidance of new coach Michael Woods, Hibs will definitely be among the main challengers for the title.
Mosta, on the other hand, have a completely new squad following the signing of Justin Haber, Luke Dimech, Daniel Bogdanovic, Ferdinando Apap, Steve Bezzina, Manolito Micallef, Ryan Grech, Adrian Farrugia, Carlos Campagnoli and Emmanuel Okafor. Micallef will be unable to make his debut as he serves a suspension but the other players are keen to impress as the Blues are poised to be among one of the main challengers for a place in the Championship Pool. Last season’s top scorer Obinna Obiefule is still with the club although he may move to Russia.
Meanwhile in the second game, Birkirkara start as firm favourites as they take on newly-promoted Melita.
Birkirkara signed Brazilians Joselito dos Reis and Jhonnattann Benites da Conceicao and Spanish defender Alejandro Mendoza together with Under-21 international Zach Muscat. Terence Vella, Leighton Grech, Alan Tabone and Omar Borg were loaned out to other clubs while Shaun Bajada joined Valletta.
Nikola Vukanac is ruled out as he serves a two-match ban.
Melita, on the other hand, secured the services of Portuguese defender Rudi Alinho and Spanish striker Jose Luis Negrin but for Monday’s game, Manuel Ramon Sierra Camacho is ruled out as he is recovering from an injury.