Local Football > Premier League > CHAMPIONS HIBS START AGAINST ST. ANDREWS

CHAMPIONS HIBS START AGAINST ST. ANDREWS

Premier League champions Hibernians will start the defence of their title against St. Andrews on August 18.

The draws of the 2017-18 BOV Football Leagues were made on Monday at the new Trophies Lounge.

Dr Angelo Chetcuti, the General Secretary of the Malta Football Association, and Kenneth Farrugia, Chief Business Development Officer of Bank of Valletta, conducted the draws for all four divisions alongside Rodney Pisani, the Head of the MFA Competitions Department.

Champions Hibernians will launch their BOV Premier League title bid with a match against St Andrews but the stand-out fixture of the opening weekend is the clash between Birkirkara and Floriana.

The introduction of a 14-team, two-round format for the BOV Premier League is not the only new aspect of the top-flight season as the Malta FA has also commissioned the creation of a new trophy which will be presented to the winners of the 2017-2018 championship.

Club officials and media personnel who attended the draws were given a ‘glimpse’ of the new silverware as a short video feature highlighting the design of trophy was shown on the television screens of the Trophies Lounge.

The new BOV Premier League trophy is being manufactured by renowned London-based silversmith Thomas Lyte who were also the designers and makers of the new FA Trophy.

The opening programme of the 2017-18 BOV Premier League, kicking off on August 18, 2017, is: Balzan vs Naxxar Lions; Hibernians vs St Andrews; Sliema Wanderers vs Senglea Athletic; Tarxien Rainbows vs Ħamrun Spartans; Valletta vs Mosta; Birkirkara vs Floriana; Lija Athletic vs Gżira United.

The derby between Valletta and Floriana will be played on the penultimate day of each round while the clash between Hibernians and Valletta will take place on the ninth day.

Birkirkara will renew their rivalry with Valletta on the seventh day while the 10th day of the 2017-18 BOV Premier League
will feature the Old Firm duel between Sliema Wanderers and Floriana.

Balzan, who finished second in the championship last season, will face Valletta and Floriana on successive matchdays – fifth and sixth.

Monday’s draw has also produced an enticing final-day encounter between potential title contenders Hibernians, the defending champions, and Balzan.

The opening day fixtures of the remaining three divisions are as follows:

BOV FIRST DIVISION (14 teams)
Żejtun Corinthians vs Qrendi; Pietà Hotspurs vs Rabat Ajax; San Ġwann vs Vittoriosa Stars; Mqabba vs Żebbuġ Rangers; Marsa vs Qormi; Żabbar St Patrick vs Pembroke Athleta; Sirens vs Melita.

BOV SECOND DIVISION (13 teams)
Kalkara vs Siġġiewi; Attard vs Santa Lucia; Birżebbuġa St Peter’s vs Għargħur; St George’s vs Luqa St Andrews; Swieqi United vs Mġarr United; Fgura United vs Marsaxlokk.

BOV THIRD DIVISION (12 teams)
Msida St Joseph vs Mdina Knights; Ta’ Xbiex vs Mtarfa; Xgħajra Tornados vs Għaxaq; Dingli Swallows vs Sta Venera Lightnings; Mellieħa vs Marsaskala; Żurrieq vs Kirkop United.
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