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Discussion Starter #1
The fixtures came out today and the season starts July 20 and will end May 17 on next year. Most teams will begin preparations by next week with Hajduk already starting theirs because of their early start in Europe. Dinamo are the reigning champions and again are heavy favorites while Rijeka this time will start the season with Biscan and hope to avoid the slow start from last season. Osijek and Hajduk still very much outsiders for the top 2 but Osijek will be strengthening while for now Hajduk are staying put with their squad.

Istra are still without a manager, sacking Cvitanovic a few days ago despite staying in the league. Them along with newly promoted Varazdin and Inter are probably the main candidates for relegation, there is euphoria around Varazdin but the reality is they are well behind financially as the gap between the 1.HNL and 2.HNL is large

Unlike previous seasons, this season 5th place will equal a European spot so half the league will play in Europe starting 2020. Good chance for one of the 'smaller' clubs to take this advantage. More importantly, 2nd place will be a Champions League qualifying spot. Also, VAR will be implemented for the first time in the HNL

Fixtures: http://hns-cff.hr/files/documents/17440/Raspored HT Prve lige 2019-20.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Dinamo, Hajduk and Rijeka still perfect after three rounds, with Hajduk yet to concede a goal but they've played an easy schedule to start the season. The early surprise is Istra who won 2 out of 3 but they also had an easy start to the campaign. Dinamo loanee Mario Cuze has 5 goals already

Inter and Varazdin very much look like the relegation candidates, hard to judge Slaven and Lokomotiva as Lokomotiva started the season playing Dinamo/Rijeka/Hajduk while Slaven played Osijek/Dinamo/Rijeka.

Rijeka/Hajduk will be really first tested by late August/September if they can challenge Dinamo (probably not) but the prize is 2nd place this season with that being a Champions League qualifying spot next season (enjoy it while it lasts, the way Croatian clubs in Europe are going this season it will be the last for a while) and that 5th spot should be very open, though I doubt they have enough quality to compete even in the early qualifying rounds
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Dinamo held to a scoreless draw in Osijek so either Rijeka or Hajduk could go top 4 matches into the season :lala:
 

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Hajduk collapse in Europe is coming full circle and now top of the table, just as planned. 1st place potentially at 4. kolo. - someone just give them the trophy for the season at this point.


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Hajduk collapse in Europe is coming full circle and now top of the table, just as planned. 1st place potentially at 4. kolo. - someone just give them the trophy for the season at this point.

:whistle:

To be fair after today they’re still in contention for the August champions trophy.
 

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:whistle:

To be fair after today they’re still in contention for the August champions trophy.


Guess I have to walk back my last comment. So much for the August trophy :err:


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Discussion Starter #8
Hajduk are weak mentally and have been for years, Rijeka failed to capitalize as well and it’s not like they rested their entire team
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sammir is back of course and is close to signing form Lokomotiva after being released from the Brazilian 2nd division, but if you believe the Cro press he is Real Madrid quality still for the HNL :yawn:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Deadline day is over in Croatia, the top four all made signings today and in Dinamo's case it was more about who they kept

- Dinamo signed Sandro Kulenovic in the final hours of the window from Legia Warsaw while they managed to keep Dani Olmo because few clubs were willing to pay the price Dinamo were asking for, however he doesn't appear to be extending his contract so he will likely leave in the upcoming window or two. Their biggest sales was Sunjic to Birmingham and Rrahmani to Verona

- Rijeka signed Andrijasevic today from Gent on loan and managed to keep the players which were linked abroad (Colak, Zuparic)

- Osijek signed a pair of African strikers in the last few days: Jerry Mbakogu from Padova and Merveil Ndockyt on loan from Getafe. The latter played a handful of games in La Liga but for the most part played in low levels of Europe

- Hajduk were very busy signing Bradaric on loan from Cagliari and brining in Peruvian striker Ivan Bulos

In terms of the other teams nothing really of note: Gorica sold one of their better players for about 2m euros which is a good deal for them but how much of the money they get who knows as they are pretty much an "agent club." Sammir to Loko is still not official but since he is a free agent it can be done outside the transfer window.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Pretty big game coming up between Rijeka-Hajduk which are the two teams that likely will compete for 2nd place this season, though Hajduk can 'bury' Rijeka a bit if they win today but still early days. Osijek will be in the picture too but they have dropped a lot of points so far including blowing a two goal lead at home to Varazdin in the final minutes. At the bottom big win for Zapresic as Slaven Belupo have conceded 21 goals in 8 rounds this season, that manager is probably the next to go
 

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Discussion Starter #13
More foreign ownership in Croatia as an Indian businessman with multiple investments in Europe buys Sibenik who are the favorites even before this to win the 2.HNL
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Skender out at Osijek after going three games without a win. Sertic probably saved himself with Slaven beating Gorica today. If anything that 5th place EL spot is wide open but I doubt any of them are good enough to compete even in the early rounds of EL qualifying
 

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Skender out at Osijek after going three games without a win. Sertic probably saved himself with Slaven beating Gorica today. If anything that 5th place EL spot is wide open but I doubt any of them are good enough to compete even in the early rounds of EL qualifying
Probably not but the fact we have that spot is bloody exciting. Next European qualifying season is going to be interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Shock loss by Dinamo in Varazdin, they made 9 changes but the lineup still had 5-6 internationals in it and they put a further two more (Petkovic, Kulenovic) on as subs. All in all a fluke result but constant rotation doesn’t help and concerning that guys like Majer aren’t playing well even in HNL

Looking at the upcoming fixtures it means Hajduk ‘should’ be first by the next international break which is what the HNS probably secretly wants :howler:
 

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Looking at the upcoming fixtures it means Hajduk ‘should’ be first by the next international break which is what the HNS probably secretly wants :howler:
Diabolical masterminds those HNS guys, 4D chess is where it's at. :lala:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well things can change in three weeks, not saying HNS is actively doing anything but secretly they want as little controversy as possible in the league before that Split game. However there was something like 8 minutes of injury time for Dinamo yesterday despite ref showing 5 :lala:
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Multiple sources state that Biscan is resigning after Rijeka’s match today. He doesn’t have the best relationship with Miskovic and Armada never supported him but the main reason appears that he wants the Cro U21 job

Next Rijeka manager is expected to be Simon Rozman, young Slovenian who was last with Domzale. Gracan is the alternative option
 
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