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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New season starts next week (July 16) as Dinamo host Slaven Belupo to open the season (Raspored i rezultati - Hrvatski Telekom Prva liga). Same format as last season, each team plays each other 4 times, only the bottom club is relegated as the HNS got rid of the playoff. The new club this season is Hrvatski Dragovoljac who return after seven seasons away

There are six new managers to start this season, interestingly three of the new hires are foreigners
  • Hajduk replaced Tramezzani with Swedish manager Jens Gustafsson
  • Sibenik and Istra go with Spanish coaches; Sibenik hire Mario Rosas who doesn't have much managerial experience, only managed in the Spanish third tier; Istra hire Gozalo Garcia who was recently managing Twente in the Netherlands
  • Rendulic replaces Orescanin at Gorica after their collapse last season, despite saving them Toplak's contract was not renewed at Lokomotiva and they promote Silvijo Cabraja from their youth ranks while Dean Klafuric replaces Stipic at Slaven

Transfer window is still open so a lot of changes can be made but Dinamo again are the clear favorites, they only player they have lost so far is Gvardiol but the likes of Majer, Livakovic, Petkovic and Ivanusec are probably on the radar of foreign clubs. The only significant signing they made so far is Duje Cop but they did make several signings late last season who joined the club this summer (Bulat, Spikic, Nevistic, Stefulj while Juric will remain on loan at Sibenik)

Osijek again will probably be the main competitors, the big news for them is they signed Ramon Mierez permanently from Alaves but they also bring in Nejasmic from Hajduk and Grzan from Istra, nobody of note has left the club

Rijeka are still in something of as transition phase as they no longer have the money that they used to have and are trying to compete with younger players but they did sign Labrovic from Rijeka as their Nevistic replacement; Andrijasevic leaves the club and will continue his career in China

Hajduk seem to be trending in the right direction for now but still long ways to go and there are no guarantees with a new foreign manager, but his reputation is one of nurturing younger players; the key this offseason was signing Livaja on a permanent deal, they also bring in Hungarian international Lovrencsics who was recently playing in the Euros. Elez and Vukovic return, Lovre Kalinic will likely return while Slovenian youngster Mlakar joins on loan from Brighton, will be interesting to see if they can hold onto Vuskovic

Gorica will look to recover from their collapse last season, think Rendulic is a good manager and will be interesting to see how he does there, Fran Brodic who was playing in the 2.HNL last season joins them along with Kotarski the U21 goalkeeper from Ajax on loan; Sibenik had a solid season but I;m not totally convinced of their ownership, they seem to be going the Istra route bringing in random lower league foreigners but they will keep Juric on loan and they bring in Antonio Marin on loan too who needs to rebound his career, they have lost Bulat, Labrovic, Ampem and Schildenfeld though. Slaven are basically in midtable mediocrity zone, probably too good to go down but not good enough to seriously compete for Europe, they did sign Monjac who was one of the more exciting players in the 2.HNL last season

Hard to judge Lokomotiva who took a massive dip last season after losing so many players and now hiring an inexperienced manager, they will likely again rely on Dinamo's scraps and it all depends on their quality, they sign sign Marko Dabro who scored something like 30 goals last season in the second division; Istra finished 9th for four consecutive seasons and not much to suggest they will improve greatly. Dragovoljac will have a tough task, they so far haven't really added to the squad which went up and there's not much first division experience, the one positive they can note is the newly promoted sides have actually stayed up in the past including a less fancied Rudes

The 2.HNL was reduced to 16 clubs for this season and next season it will be further reduced to 12 with Dinamo II and Osijek II already knowing they will go down to a national third tier from the 2022 season onwards. Jarun is the new team in the division winning a third division promotion playoff against Belisce, the main candidates for promotion seem to be Varazdin, Sesvete, Opatija, Rudes. Some familiar names coaching in the second tier though as some former NT players pay their dues down there, Jerko Leko is managing Jarun, Danijel Pranjic managing Dubrava and Mario Carevic is the new Varazdin manager
 

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I think this is the year (hoping this is a jinx) Rijeka fall back to middle of the pack. I think Osijek and Hajduk have more quality and better coaching. Unless either one just play below expectations, I think Rijeka finish somewhere around 4-5.
 

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I think this is the year (hoping this is a jinx) Rijeka fall back to middle of the pack. I think Osijek and Hajduk have more quality and better coaching. Unless either one just play below expectations, I think Rijeka finish somewhere around 4-5.
I have also read that Rijeka are on the verge of some serious financial difficulties where they might get relegated. Not sure how true that is as they did get Drmic on loan which is huge for them.
 

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I have also read that Rijeka are on the verge of some serious financial difficulties where they might get relegated. Not sure how true that is as they did get Drmic on loan which is huge for them.
Yeah, the days of Volpi and big money are over. Rijeka are operating more much more leaner. Honestly, I don't mind it - hoping this will force us to double down on academy and youth now rather than go the retread/foreigner route and finding guys that way. We still kinda did that this year (Ampem, Obregon, Drmic back, etc.) but very curious to see how guys like Vuk, Braut and Liber do, if they actually get some decent minutes.
 

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I consider it a great investment. Usually when Fradi spend more than 1 million it turns out great. Just look at Uzuni.
 

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Is Rijeka getting a new stadium? I guess with their financial decline the possibility of it happening has diminished. Last I heard some understanding was made with a Chinese company whatever that means. That was a while back though.
 
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Is Rijeka getting a new stadium? I guess with their financial decline the possibility of it happening has diminished. Last I heard some understanding was made with a Chinese company whatever that means. That was a while back though.
Haven’t heard any updates. Real shame.
 

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Week 1 Results:

Dinamo 0-2 Slaven Belupo
Istra 1961 3-1 Hrvatski Dragovoljac
Lokomotiva 2-2 Hajduk
Osijek 3-0 Šibenik
Rijeka 2-0 Gorica

Weird result for Dinamo but sure they'll still be champions. HD look awful and would be surprised if they aren't comfortably bottom.

Hajduk look good going forward but as usual sloppy at the back

Osijek start like 2nd strongest

Gorica were unlucky at Rijeka, thought they played well and Rijeka were very average.
 

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Week 1 Results:

Dinamo 0-2 Slaven Belupo
Istra 1961 3-1 Hrvatski Dragovoljac
Lokomotiva 2-2 Hajduk
Osijek 3-0 Šibenik
Rijeka 2-0 Gorica

Weird result for Dinamo but sure they'll still be champions. HD look awful and would be surprised if they aren't comfortably bottom.

Hajduk look good going forward but as usual sloppy at the back

Osijek start like 2nd strongest

Gorica were unlucky at Rijeka, thought they played well and Rijeka were very average.
Gorica v. Rijeka was an entertaining game. Lots of back and forth. Rijeka more clinical in the final 1/3. Best players on the field for both teams were Muric, Labrovic and Lepinjica. Close game but Rijeka the deserved winners.
 

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Hrvatski Dragovoljac 0-4 Dinamo

Easy win, could have been a lot more but did a lot of subs and passed it about like a training match for last half hour
 

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After watching HD's first match and first 55 minutes tonight, 100% coming bottom and going to be really embarrassed I think
Haven't watched any of their games. Is the defending bad? Attack? Everything?! :ROFLMAO:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Their squad is weak, no first division quality and the Hajduk players they signed on loan won’t help much either because they are low quality too. Funny because their president was very optimistic to start the season.

Also not that it would make much of a difference but their manager is a relative nobody too
 

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Shame, as will mean there will be no relegation battle but outside of them- HNL is probably strongest it has been in years

Would have been stronger keeping Varaždin up, ha.
 

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Shame, as will mean there will be no relegation battle but outside of them- HNL is probably strongest it has been in years

Would have been stronger keeping Varaždin up, ha.
Would be nice to keep HD and let a team like Loko go down but 🤷‍♂️
 

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Rijeka rumored to sign Max Meyer, 25 y/o German MF from Koln.


Huge signing if it were to come to fruition. Has had bad spells in Koln and Crystal Palace, but was very good for Schalke prior to that. Capped by the German NT too.
 
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