Hibernians will start the defence of the BOV Premier League title won at the end of last season as they take on Valletta at the Tony Bezzina Stadium on Sunday, kick-off at 18:30.
Fresh from their European campaign which saw them reach the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa Conference League, the Paolites start as favourites to collect the three points considering that they have already played six competitive matches.
The new faces in the Hibernians squad for this season are Kurt Shaw, Rodolfo Soares, Gonzalo Llerena Bravo, Gabriel Mensah, Jairo Morillas Rivero and goalkeeper Justin Haber. Soares, Llerena and Mensah have already made their debut in the UEFA competitions last month. Coach Andrea Pisanu is set to make his league debut for the Paolites after replacing Stefano Sanderra in July.
Valletta, on the other hand, revamped their squad with the signing of Brandon Paiber, goalkeeper Cain Formosa, Enzo Ruiz, Kilian Bevis, Joseph Willy, Oke Akpoveta, Bradley Sheede Kamdem Fewo, Jean-Marie Ulrich N’Nomo N’Gong and Ryan Cheng while Thane Micallef, who had led Gudja United to a creditable sixth place last season, has been appointed as the new coach.
Making up for last season’s disappointment is definitely the main objective for the Citizens. In the pre-season, they defeated Zebbug Rangers 1-0, Mosta 3-1, Sirens 2-0 and following a 2-2 draw with Marsaxlokk, they defeated Santa Lucia 3-1 and Pieta’ Hotspurs 2-1.