18th football championship in Macedonia starts this weekend. Rabotnicki, Makedonija, Renova, Metalurg… teams in quest for glory and title. Football returns, eagerly expected. Let’s throw a glimpse of the teams competing this season.
Makedonija Gjorce Petrov will be defending the title after a very convincing victory in the last season. Three very important players left the squad: de Brito, Osa Guobadia and Pavlović are out, but their replacements have been announced. Top goalscorer from past season Gligorovski joined the champions and a Serbian goalkeeper once again will defend the Lions’ goal. They have signed players from Brazil once again and knowing their eye for talents in the past season, we might see future stars once again. There had been some problems after the early elimination from the champions league and their president and main sponsor quit but will most probably finance the club still. Once again the champions should be one of the biggest favorites for winning the title, finishing in places that lead to Europe next season should be the least they should accept.
Milano is following a similar destiny to the club they have literally destroyed it couple of seasons ago, Bashkimi. 15 players out, 15 players in resulted in a embarrassment in Europe with an aggregate defeat of 12-2. Finances are bad in the club and players are far from fit, they don’t know each other too well and it seems like this season Milano will be far from the top of the table. In fact, if things don’t turn around, maybe Milano will be one of the main candidates for the last positions on the table. If we add the fact that their star player Armend Alimi is close to leaving the club, there is no bright season ahead of Milano.
Despite the early elimination from UEFA Europa League and despite they have played good and only lacked luck, Renova did not lost hope and will surely be playing a great role in this season. Not too many migrations from and into the club form a stable first league team. Finances are solid and it will not be a surprise if Renova finishes on top of the table. Nevertheless, team’s ambitions are top-of-the-table at the spots that lead to Europe. Rightly.
Rabotnicki is the only team that advanced from the first round of European competitions and showed a good football in the first leg from the second round but at the same time showed big defensive problems. The first line of the formation is not good enough for European competitions, maybe Stratev should consider new players for the championship. The cup winners will probably once again be amongst the top of the table and together with Renova, Makedonija and Metalurg will be looking to complete the first 4 on the table.
Vardar finished near the top last season, but things are not bright for them this season. The squad is rather solid, talented youngsters mixed with some proven football names might prove to be a success, but main problem are the finances. And Vardar is in serious lack of finances. If things were OK on financial plan, maybe this Vardar could have finished on the top 4 places, but in this case it is problem that players don’t have strong contracts and might leave the club. Money will be the main problem for them, they will have the support from the fans, but question is how long can players play with low or no salary at all.
Turnovo Horizont finished on the middle of the table last season and this season might want to strive for a position or two upper. The only team that chose Germany as a country for their training camps did not returned with very positive results but certainly completed good summer preparations. Not many changes in the squad and great plays at home from last season might be a fact that Turnovo can involve themselves in the top positions. Nevertheless, they are probably still far from the top teams and it is a question whether this team from the small village of Turnovo has the winning mentality. Renova from Dzepciste proved it is possible, why not Turnovo do the same? Middle of the table with smaller gap between them and the top teams compared to last season should be expected by Turnovo.