Hibernians and Hamrun Spartans cross swords in the big match from match-day 2 of the BOV Premier League at the National Stadium on Monday, kick-off at 19:30.
Hamrun Spartans are fresh from their UEFA Europa Conference League adventure which saw them reach the play-off round – a first for a Maltese team. On their way, Branko Nisevic’s side registered four wins – defeating Alashkert 4-1 at Ta’ Qali, Velez Mostar 1-0 home and away and Levski 2-1 away from home apart from the 3-3 draw with Partizan last week at Ta’ Qali.
This summer, the squad has been strengthened with the signing of Malta international duo Ryan Camenzuli and Luke Montebello apart from the return of Matthew Guillaumier following a spell on loan with Siena in Italy. With regards to foreign players, Emerson Marcelina, Dodo and Matteo Fedele were retained and new arrivals include Ederson Bruno Domingos, Vinicius de Freitas, Elvis Mashike Suskisa, Roko Prsa, Mousa Balla Sowe, Rodrigo Callegari Torre, Ognjen Bjelicic and Jonny Robert do Nascimento. Igor Nedeljkovic has been released along with goalkeeper Steve Sultana who will play once again in Gozo.
After a rather disappointing campaign last season, the Spartans will be all out to challenge for the championship.
Meanwhile Hibernians did quite well in Europe as although they were eliminated from the UEFA Champions League by Shamrock Rovers, they obtained a positive result in a goalless draw at Ta’ Qali. In the UEFA Europa Conference League, they defeated Levadia Tallinn 3-2 at Ta’ Qali and drew 1-1 in Tallinn while in the third qualifying round, they held RFS in a 1-1 draw in Riga but then lost 1-3 at’ Ta’ Qali.
The Paolites were held in a 1-1 draw by Valletta in their first outing and therefore hope to register their first win on Monday.