Rivals Valletta, Birkirkara seek morale-boosting win from direct clash

Rivals Valletta and Birkirkara seek a winning start to their BOV Premier League campaign as the two cross swords at the National Stadium on Monday, kick-off at 21:15, in the main highlight from Match-Day 1.

The Citizens have already played one official match, losing narrowly to Bala Town of Wales in the UEFA Europa League. Led by coach Jesmond Zerafa, Valletta have only signed four players, namely Mihailo Jovanovic, Leandro Aguirre, Taisei Marukawa and Taylon Correa.

On the other hand, for Birkirkara, this will be their first match since March. Despite the disappointment of failing to secure a spot in European competitions, the Stripes maintained a low profile in the transfer market and will practically rely on last season’s squad apart from the addition of Italian defender Francesco Verde and Brazilian winger Alex da Paixao Alves. Andre Paus was confirmed as coach.

Undoubtedly the main objective for both sides this season is winning the championship.

Meanwhile in the first match, kick-off at 17:00, Hamrun Spartans take on Sirens. With the backing of businessman Joseph Portelli, the Spartans invested heavily this summer, signing Juan Corbolan, Joseph Mbong, Ige Abdullahi Adeshina, Marcelo Barbosa, Predrag Djordjevic, Emerson Marcelina, Elkin Serrano Valero, Arthur Oyama, Imanol Iriberri, Darko Gojkovic, Nehar Sadiki, Franklin Sasere, Blas Cittadini and goalkeepers Pablo Sanchez and Jonathan Debono.

Sirens, on the other hand, aim to start the season on a positive note following the good performance in the UEFA Europa League first qualifying round against CSKA Sofia. This summer, they secured the services of Maxuell Maia da Silva, Samba Tounkara, Wilfried Domoraud and Michael Mifsud.

Both sides aim at improving their position in the table with the Spartans eyeing a return to European football after an absence of 28 years.

Matches are being played behind closed doors. but fans will be able to watch games thanks to the new live-streaming service being offered by the Malta Football Association at https://live.mfa.com.mt/ apart from the usual two weekly matches which are broadcast on TVM 2 and/or TSN.