League champions Lincoln Red Imps take on Gibtelecom Rock Cup winners Europa FC in the 2019 Pepe Reyes Cup tonight.
Photo © William Gracia
The traditional curtain-raiser once again sees Gibraltar’s top two sides face off for the fifth season in a row, and is the first of two meetings in the space of less than a week – the two sides face off in the first week of the National League.
The game is also the first match under the increased HGP regulations, so each side will have a minimum of four locals on the pitch at all times. With Jaylan Hankins and Tjay De Barr moving to Spanish sides in the summer, both teams will have slightly different sides to the end of last season, and with new signings on both sides, tonight promises to be an intriguing encounter.
For Lincoln, Chino or Lolo Soler will be one of the big questions, as to who starts in goal – if Soler starts, then either Ethan Britto or Jamie Coombes will be expected to start, alongside Joseph, Roy Chipolina and Anthony Hernandez, presuming all are fit to play.
As for Europa, their biggest call will be who start at left-back – most likely a straight decision between Ethan Jolley and Jayce Olivero – elsewhere, Dayle Coleing is expected to start in goal, while Liam Walker will captain the side. One potentially interesting sub-plot is whether Jack Sergeant starts – it isn’t clear if the former Lincoln man has finalised his moved to Europa yet, with apparent complications allegedly hampering the deal. If he isn’t cleared to play, Jason Pusey or Mikey Yome may come in to the first XI, with the former making his debut if he does so.
The last two editions of this tournament have been settled on penalties, and we wouldn’t bank against today’s game going the distance as well – as we get the first glimpses of the season ahead.