All you need to know about 2021-2022 Maltese Premier League

The Lottoland guide to the 12 teams in the 2021-22 Premier League

The 2021-22 Premier League season gets under way this week under a new format. This season, the number of teams playing in the Maltese top-flight has gone down from 16 to 12 teams after the Malta FA approved a motion that ruled out any promotions from the Challenge League last season.

The championship will be played over three rounds; the first two rounds will have a “round robin” format while for the third round, the 12 teams will be split into two sections with the top six contesting the Championship Pool and the bottom six forming the Relegation Pool.

Matches will again be played under a strict medical protocol, but at least a small number of fans will be permitted back at the stadium.

A short guide on the 12 teams in the 2021-22 Premier League:

Floriana FC

Floriana FC will be determined to put behind them a very disappointing 2020-21 season which initially had put them among the leading challengers for the Premier League title they had won the previous term but ended up in a battle against relegation.

The Greens, now under the charge of new president Johann Said and Italian coach Gianluca Atzori, have completely changed their strategy as they have opted to bank on youth talent.

In fact, several established players have left the club and the Greens have signed some young talent such as Adam Magri Overend, Zachary Cassar and Owen Spiteri while they have also added Dutch defender Christian Rutjens.

Albanian forward Kristijan Keqi, so influential in their title triumph two years ago, will again carry the team’s hopes of a successful campaign. 

Valletta FC

Valletta FC are coming into the new campaign with renewed determination to put themselves back into the reckoning among the top teams on the island after a low-key 2020-21 campaign.

In the close season, Valletta have decided to rejuvenate their squad. Goalkeeper Henry Bonello, defender Jonathan Caruana, midfielders Santiago Malano and Miguel Alba and forward Kyrian Nwoko have left the club.

Inevitably, the Citizens were busy in the transfer window bringing in goalkeeper Alessandro Guarnone, defender Christian Gauci, midfielders Michele Sansone and James Arthur and forward Caio Henrique and Milan Jurdik.

No doubt, Valletta are hoping they will again be among the challengers for silverware this season.


Hibernians will be hopeful of going one better than last season as the Paolites look to be among the main challengers for Ħamrun Spartans in this season’s title race.

The Paolites maintained the chore of the players that placed as runners-up in the Premier League last season and have managed to bring in some new blood.

An injury to Matthew Calleja Cremona saw the Paola club sign goalkeepers Nicky Vella and Ibrahim Kone while they have also added more depth to their forward line with the signings of Wilfried Domoraud and Thaylor.

Maltese internationals Andrei Agius, Bjorn Kristensen, Jake Grech and Jurgen Degabriele are likely to again play a key role for Hibernians who are hopeful of mounting a series challenge for the Premier League title as they look to win the first title after an absence of four years.


Birkirkara will have their eyes firmly set on a strong start to the season as they look to pile up the pressure on the Premier League front-runners right from the opening day of the season.

In the last two seasons, the Stripes were victims of very poor run of form in the first weeks of the season which ultimately have cost the team an opportunity to challenge for the title.

Coach Andre Paus may have lost some key personnel in Alessandro Guarnone, Caio Henrique and Alex Alves but the Stripes have moved quickly to bring in adequate replacements in Daniel Fernandes, Diego Venancio and Jefferson Machedo.

With the core of last season’s squad still there, the Stripes should have little problems to click into gear quickly this term as they look to mount a serious challenge for the major honours.

Gżira United

After years of promise, Gżira United will hope that they finally deliver with a serious title challenge this season.

Darren Abdilla has kept faith with the majority of the squad of last season and has added some exciting talent to his squad namely Thiago Espindola, Emmanuel Mbong, Judivan and brought back to the club Haruna Garba.

The Maroons have traditionally managed to keep abreast with the Premier League pacesetters for much of the season but time and again in the last two seasons they fell short when the title race entered the decisive phase.

This season, the Maroons look well equipped to last the distance and can be seen as genuine title contenders for the Premier League crown.


After a tough 2020-21 Premier League campaign, Sirens are hopeful that they can finally turn the corner this season.

The St Paul’s Bay outfit have made wholesale changes to their squad with Winston Muscat now at the helm of the club and the former Malta U-19 coach has completely overhauled his squad.

Sirens have brought several players who boast Premier League experience such as Sacha Borg, Jacob Walker, Conor Borg, and Alfred Effiong.

No doubt, the St Paul’s Bay outfit will need time to gel together given the high number of new players but they need a good start to their campaign if they are to keep away from the relegation places.


After a strong run of form in the second part of the 2020-21 season, which enabled the team to avoid the drop, Balzan have decided to keep faith with the group of players that delivered the goods in the second part of the campaign.

Coach Mark Miller was retained for another season and the English coach has brought in very few additions to his squad namely Milos Mijic and have managed to re-sign to former players namely Alex Alves and Bojan Kaljevic.

For several weeks, Balzan played with fire as their inconsistent run of results have seriously jeopardised their place in the top-flight.

This season, the Reds surely cannot afford such lapses particularly as there is very little to separate between the majority of the teams in the top flight and another relegation battle could prove fatal.

Sliema Wanderers

Sliema Wanderers have had a mixed 2020-21 season as after a very positive start to the season, the Blues’ fortunes plummeted after serious administrative and financial problems seriously jeopardised all the good work done throughout the campaign.

In the close season, the Blues have worked incessantly to put their house in order and it was only in the last few weeks that they started to rebuild their squad.

The Blues have so far made few additions to their squad, namely Ivory Coast midfielder Inters Gui, Brazilian defender Matheus Freitas and Japanese midfielder Uki Uchida. They have also brought back to the club young winger Myles Beerman.

Coach Andrea Pisanu surely has a huge task on his hands to replicate last season’s fifth-place finish but the Italian’s tactical nous and never-say-die attitude could prove Sliema’s major asset this season.

Ħamrun Spartans

After last season’s title triumph, Ħamrun Spartans are seen by many as the favourites to retain their title crown.

The Spartans, buoyed by the heavy investment from club president Joseph Portelli, have been the protagonists in this summer’s transfer window when they completed some high-profile signings.

The Reds have signed Malta goalkeeper Henry Bonello, Estonian international defender Nikita Baranov, midfielder Luke Gambin and Nigerian forward Franklin Sasere to add further quality to an already strong squad.

Ħamrun certainly boast the strongest squad in the top-flight this season and if coach Mark Buttigieg can once more ensure his team maintains its tactical balance then the Spartans should be a good bet to reconfirm their status as Malta champions.


After their historic qualification to European club competitions, Mosta FC will be determined to keep the momentum going and will be setting their sights on another strong campaign.

The Blues, now under the charge of coach Joe Grech and technical director Mario Muscat, have managed to preserve the bulk of the squad that managed to finish sixth in the Premier League standings.

Mosta FC have managed to add more quality in the squad with the arrival of midfield duo Ivan Djoric and Luis Riascos as well as winger Will Donkin.

However, their best signing is likely to be Nigerian Johnson Nsumoh who has impressed in the UEFA Conference League tie against Spartak Trnava.

No doubt, if Mosta can manage a consistent run of results throughout the season, they will sureyly be a good bet for a place in European football next summer.

Gudja United

Gudja United face a tougher fight to retain their top-flight status in a Premier League that is set to be much tighter affair this season.

Last season, the southerners just managed to avoid the drop and this time around they must show improvement in their performances if they are to survive.

Gudja United have appointed Thane Micallef as first-team coach in place of Jesmond Zammit while they have signed Russian defender Igor Dudarek, wingers Leighton Grech and Yasukaze Ito and forward Dibola Diwoto.

A good start to the campaing will be crucial for Gudja’s hopes to avoid the drop.

Santa Lucia

Santa Lucia have enjoyed one of their best campaigns in recent years last season when they finished seventh in the Premier League season despite a modest budget.

The Saints are determined to build on that campaign and if their transfer business is anything to go by, they could well be a dark horse for a top four finish.

Santa Lucia may have lost their prolific scorer Kevin Ante Rosero but they signed St Kitts & Nevis goalkeeper Julani Archibald, defender Jurgen Pisani, Brazilian midfieldre Patrick Mota and forward Vito Plut.

Coach Oliver Spiteri has already shown he can bring the best out of his youthful outfit and no doubt they are likely to be a tough nut to crack for any team this season.

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