Sliema Wanderers test for Birkirkara

Last season’s runners-up Birkirkara will be facing newly-promoted Sliema Wanderers in one of the four BOV Premier League matches in programme on Sunday. In the other matches, Santa Lucia take on Floriana, Valletta face Sirens and Mosta cross swords with Gudja United.

In the first match at the National Stadium, Birkirkara take on Sliema Wanderers.

The Stripes finished second last season and claimed the IZIBET FA Trophy but suffered an early exit from the UEFA Europa Conference League after being eliminated from the first round.

Birkirkara, once again led by Giacomo Tedesco, signed Maxuell Maia, Enmy Pena Beltre, Adailton Queiroz de Jesus, Jovan Pajovic, Omar Elouni, Mattia Lucarelli, goalkeeper Marcel Zapytowski, Manuel De Filippis and Alex Satariano this summer but Cain Attard, Matteo Fedele, Alex da Paixao Alves, Diego Pires Dall’Oca, Enzo Cabrera and goalkeeper Giacomo Nava are no longer with the club with Jed Valletta being loaned to Santa Lucia.

The Wanderers will be aiming at retaining their Premier League status after coach Paul Zammit led them to a quick return to the top division as champions. New signings include Vito Plut, Karim Abubakar, Joseph Minala, Denis Kouao, Gustavo Alcino, Samuel Gomes da Mata, Israel Duarte dos Santos and Malta international defender Jean Borg while Dejan Vukovic is back after a spell on loan with Marsaxlokk.

In the first match at the Tony Bezzina Stadium, Santa Lucia face Floriana.

Both sides have appointed new coaches – Alessandro Zinnari for Santa Lucia and Mauro German Camoranesi for Floriana.

Santa Lucia have a practically completely new squad after they signed no less than sixteen new players, namely three goalkeepers Francisco Celio da Paz Silva, Samuele Duzzi Nulli and Dominic Vella, Patrick Ramos, Arthur Vieira Araujo, Gonzalo Virano, Carlos Gabriel ‘Hulk’, Tatsuro Nagamatsu, Temitope Abraham Ojo, Evandro Gomes, Lucas Senna Silva, Wagner Alves, Mattias Ellul, Sven Xerri, Jed Valletta and Steve Pisani. Players like Rodolfo Soares, Thomas Rier, Leo Bahia, Liam Ayad, Robert Bairam, Robert Hehedosh, Yevgheny Terzy, Miguel Angel Alba, Jamie Zerafa, Liam Mckay and Emerson Camilleri among others all moved elsewhere with Kyrian Nwoko returning to Floriana.

The Greens, on the other hand, only made slight changes to the squad with the arrival of goalkeeper Sean Mintoff, Dunstan Vella, Maksim Valadzko, Alexandros Kouro and Matheus Sousa while Kyrian Nwoko is back after a spell on loan with Santa Lucia. Emiliano Callegari, Lorenzo Trillo and Alen Melunovic were not retained while James Scicluna was loaned to Zabbar.

In the second match at the Tony Bezzina Stadium, Valletta face Sirens.

Led once again by Thane Micallef, the Citizens signed a number of players in order to improve on last year’s performance. New signings include Jhonnattann Benites da Conceicao, Fernando Omar Barrientos, Juan Bolanos, Federico Vega, Diego Cardoso Nogueira, Donys Quinters, Luka Susjnara, Victor Luiz Prestes Filho, Santiago Ferraris, Marcus Simmons, David Emmanuel Garba, Neil Micallef and Malta international goalkeeper Jake Galea. Andrea Zammit moved to Messina while Enmy Pena, Kilian Bevis, Eslit Sala, Ulrich N’Nomo, Joseph Willy and Triston Caruana moved elsewhere.

On the other hand, Sirens, now led by Steve D’Amato, have made wholesale changes to the squad, signing goalkeeper Ini Etim Akpan, Daniel Agius, Nicholas Pulis, Jean Borg, Darren Borg, Tiago Almeia, Jonathan Perea Hinestroza, Elijay Ceesay and following a deal with the champions of Ghana, they secured the services of Kwasi Donsu, Joshua Agyemang, Charles Agyemang, Bismark Asare, Prosper Boakye, Daniel Opoku, Frank Boateng, Hasan Gomda, Hafiz Mohammed Akadom and Mukhtar Moro. Goalkeeper Matthew Grech, Sean Cipriott, Jacob Walker, Adrian Borg, Siraj Arab, Andreas Vella, Gary Camilleri, Gabriel Ventura, Rei Tachikawa, Kei Sano, Armah Vaikainah, Marcelo Muniz, Ricardo Correa and Stephane Sessegnon are no longer with the club.

At the National Stadium, Mosta take on Gudja United in the second match.

The Blues signed Jean Paul Farrugia, Kevin Tulimieri, Moussa Camara, Gustavo Chara, Willie Britto, goalkeeper David Udoh Akpan, Aliyu Isah, Damian Aneni, Uzoma Eziukwu Nnaemeka, Innocent Echem Cbibueze, Savious Nwafor Chukwuemeka, Tegwi Thomas and welcomed back goalkeeper Dylan Ciappara. Christ Evo Ememe, Boubakary Diarra, Kaishu Yamazaki, Tyrone Farrugia, Victor Mbata, Glamour Eziefula Chibueze, Andrej Nakov, Duane Bonnici, Michel Chidera Okoh, Steve Kingue and Roderick Briffa moved elsewhere.

Gudja, on the other hand, have appointed Jesmond Zammit as their new coach. New signings include goalkeepers Yaren Izzet Sozer and Justin Spiteri, Zak Grech, Conor Borg, Ryan Cutajar, Luca Gatt, Sean Cipriott, Matthias Conti, Gianluca Zammit, Brenner Armando, Mirko Esposito, Ricardo Fernandes, Mateo Cassini, Walter Serrano, Gianluca Lorenzoni, Gabriel Mensah, Marvin Santiago Angulo Perea and Abou Toure. Juan Bolanos, Andre Fausto, Tatsuro Nagamatsu, Nicolas Navarrete, Samuel Gomes, Hubert Vella, Vito Plut, Farid Romero, Johann Bezzina, Glenn Zammit, Ayrton Azzopardi, Neil Micallef, Tensior Gusman, Jean Claude Bugeja and Divaio Kolf all moved to other clubs.

Sun 17-Sep-2023Birkirkara FC vs Sliema Wanderers FC18:00National Stadium
Sun 17-Sep-2023Santa Lucia FC vs Floriana FC18:00Tony Bezzina Stadium
Sun 17-Sep-2023Valletta FC vs Sirens FC20:00Tony Bezzina Stadium
Sun 17-Sep-2023Mosta FC vs Gudja United FC20:15National Stadium

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