Last season’s runners-up Hibernians take on newly-promoted Gudja United at the Centenary Stadium in one of three BOV Premier League matches in programme on Saturday. FA Trophy winners Balzan face Sliema Wanderers while Tarxien Rainbows meet Mosta at the National Stadium.
Gudja United vs Hibernians, kick-off 19:00 at Centenary Stadium
After missing out on the title, losing the championship decider on penalties, the Paolites, once again led by Stefano Sanderra, will be aiming to challenge for the title once again. This summer they signed Matthew Calleja Cremona, Ferdinando Apap, Jens Wemmer, Leonardo Nanni and Terence Groothusen – all being in squad for the UEFA Europa League commitments and went on to add Myles Beerman, Ayrton Attard and Charles Astina.
On the other hand, Gudja United revamped their squad as they prepare for their first Premier League campaign. New arrivals include Rundell Winchester, Juan Bolaños, Allan Ricardo Miranda Albertazzi, Alexandre Santana, Anderson Meyer, Anderson de Barros and Gabriel Mensah. They also signed Zach Cassar, Aidan Friggieri, goalkeeper Timothy Aquilina, James Brincat, Justin Grioli, Hubert Vella and Dylan Grima. Being promoted to the top division for the first time in the history of the club, retaining their status will be their main objective.
Tarxien Rainbows vs Mosta, kick-off 18:30 at National Stadium
Since last season, the Rainbows went through a number of changes. Marko Glumac was appointed as their new coach, replacing Jose Borg. They signed five new foreigners, namely Stiv Shaba, Robeiro do Nascimento Santos, Jairo Andres Renorio Viveros, Misael Miranda Gomez and Aleksa Andrejic. The Rainbows also secured the services of goalkeepers Rudy Briffa and Maverick Buhagiar, Brooke Farrugia, Brandon Muscat and Ayrton Azzopardi. Avoiding relegation should be once again their main objective.
Mosta, on the other hand, once again led by Mark Miller, focussed mainly on signing foreign players this summer, securing the services of Sergio Villareal, Nikita Kotlov, David Brown, Weverton Gomes Souza, Matias Muchardi, Momodou Salieu Jallow and Edin Murga. The Blues will be seeking a comfortable mid-table position.
Balzan vs Sliema Wanderers, kick-off 20:30 at National Stadium
After finishing last season on a high, lifting the FA Trophy, Balzan hope to continue where they have left despite a disappointing early exit from the UEFA Europa League. After signing Kristijan Naumovski, Augustine Loof, Stefan Dimic and Arthur Faria Machado earlier this summer, they added Ryan Scicluna on loan from Birkirkara as they target their first ever Premier League title.
The Wanderers welcomed back Alfonso Greco as their coach. The team, on the other hand, has been strengthened with the arrival of Alex Satariano on loan from St. Andrews and five new foreigners, namely Juan Cruz Gill, Juri Cisotti, Antonio Stelitano, Jose Cleangelo Periera Dias and Stanimir Miloskovic. Their main objective should be that of challenging for a place in Europe next summer.