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2016/17 First League schedule released: Pelagonian derby right away!

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The logo of the First LeagueThe logo of the First LeagueThe draw for the Macedonian top flight was made today and right in the opening round we will watch the big Derby of Pelagonia, while the second round will see title candidates Vardar and Shkendija facing each other.

Today in the headquarters of the Football Federation of Macedonia was made the draw for the new season of the First League. The season will start on 7 August with a new format after the clubs complained that the previous format was unfair. The ten clubs will now face each other four times, twice home and twice away with a total number of 36 rounds. The regular season will end on 28 May 2017 after which the play-offs for filling the league will take place.

The Round 1 matches are the following:

Vardar vs. Shkupi (Ethnic derby of Skopje)
Shkendija vs. Sileks
Pobeda vs. Pelister
(Derby of Pelagonia)
Bregalnica vs. Renova
Makedonija GjP vs. Rabotnichki

The title holders will open the season with a home game against local rivals Shkupi, but the big game in the opening round will be the Pelagonian derby between Pobeda and Pelister. Last season these two played three times in the Second League, but they haven't played a top flight derby since the season 2009/10 when Pobeda got suspended by FIFA.

Other notable derbies in the first ten rounds:

Round 2 (14.08 2016):
Vardar vs. Shkendija (Title derby)

Round 6 (18.09.2016)
Vardar vs. Rabotnichki (Derby of Skopje)

Round 8 (18.09.2016)
Vardar vs. Pelister (Derby of Macedonia)

To view the complete schedule for the first half-season, click here.

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