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VALLETTA TO START AGAINST SLIEMA

Valletta will start the defence of the Premier League title against Sliema Wanderers on Saturday, August 17.

Meanwhile Balzan Youths, runners-up last season, face neighbours Birkirkara in their opening match.

Another intriguing encounter is that between Floriana and Ħamrun Spartans.

Newly-promoted sides Qormi and Pietà Hotspurs start their campaign in the top division against Senglea Athletic and Hibernians respectively.

The opening programme of the 2018-19 Premier League is: Mosta vs St Andrews, Qormi vs Senglea Athletic, Tarxien Rainbows vs Gżira United; Birkirkara vs Balzan; Ħamrun Spartans vs Floriana; Hibernians vs Pietà Hotspurs; Sliema Wanderers vs Valletta.

Valletta are bracing themselves for a tough opening as their initial match against Sliema Wanderers will be followed by clashes with Hibernians and Birkirkara.

Rodney Pisani, the Malta FA Deputy General Secretary who presided over the draws, said the 2018-19 season will see the introduction of some changes in the scheduling of the fixtures to try and attract more fans to our stadia.

On Friday, the Premier League match will be preceded by a First Division League match and on certain days there will be three matches in a row at the same venue.

Matches will be spread over four days from Friday to Monday.

Four stadiums will host the Premier League matches – National Stadium, Hibernians Stadium, Centenary Stadium and Victor Tedesco Stadium.

FIRST DIVISION
Opening programme: Żebbuġ Rangers vs Żejtun Corinthians; Pembroke Athleta vs Gudja United; Santa Lucia vs Qrendi; Mqabba vs Vittoriosa Stars; Naxxar Lions vs Lija Athletic; San Ġwann vs Swieqi United; Sirens vs Marsa.

League runs from September 14 to April 28

SECOND DIVISION
Opening programme: Siġġiewi vs Mellieħa; Marsaxlokk vs Rabat Ajax; Fgura United vs Melita; Żabbar St Patrick vs Santa Venera Lightnings; Birżebbuġa St Peter’s vs Luqa St Andrews; Mġarr United vs St George’s.

League runs from September 8 to April 20

THIRD DIVISION
Opening programme: Għargħur vs Xgħajra Tornados; Ta’ Xbiex vs Mdina Knights; Attard vs Kirkop United; Mtarfa vs Dingli Swallows; Msida St Joseph vs Marsaskala; Għaxaq vs Żurrieq.

League runs from September 15 to April 14
 
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