Macedonian First League

Preview: First League Round 1

Macedonian First LeagueMacedonian First League, season 2011/12 starts tomorrow! The 20th in row kicks off Saturday with 5 matches offered.

Reigning champions Shkendija are visiting Horizont Turnovo. Shkendija will travel without their best player from last season Ferhan Hasani who is very close to signing a deal with Belgian side Gent. Turnovo, more or less, kept their squad from last season and brought several other players which should add up to the competition.

Kukus Stadium in Turnovo
Horizont Turnovo vs Shkendija
Referee: Goran Spirkoski from Prilep

Cup winners Metalurg will be hosting problems-hit Teteks. After the unlucky defeat to Lokomotiv Sofia and the defeat to Shkendija in the Super Cup, things must start turning around for Metalurg if they are to prove their ambitions for the title. Teteks spent the majority of the summer break in doubt of its destiny for only couple of days before the season start, they found out who will be their new coach in the name of Dragi Setinov and that there will be some financial support.

Zelezarnica Stadium in Skopje
Metalurg vs Teteks
Referee: Ljubomir Krstevski from Bitola

In the most interesting match, newcomer 11 Oktomvri who is for first time in the First League will host renovated Vardar. 11 Oktomvri have built a solid squad which is a mixture of young and experienced players. At the same time, everyone already knows about the Vardar issue and how their squad looks like. From a team that should have played in second league, they became one of the main title favorites for the upcoming season. Certainly this match marks the round.

Goce Delcev Stadium in Prilep
11 Oktomvri vs Vardar
Referee: Marjan Markoski from Ohrid

Napredok will host Sileks in the first Kicevo match for the season. Both teams have brought several players with keeping the best from last season at the same time and both teams share similar ambitions. Staying clear of relegation with hopes of surprise through Macedonian Cup.

Gradski Stadium in Kicevo
Napredok vs Sileks
Referee: Zoran Petkovski from Veles

Renova will host the second promoter in the league, Ohrid. Unlike 11 Oktomvri, this is not the first time for Ohrid in the First League but certainly they waited for a long time. Renova lost several players from last season and it doesn’t seem like they brought enough replacements but they should rely on their strong youth academy. Bylbyl Sokoli is no longer their coach and he will be replaced by his first assistant Bujar Islami.

Gradski Stadium in Tetovo
Renova vs Ohrid
Referee: Vladimir Kiprijanovski from Skopje

In the only Sunday match, Rabotnicki will host Bregalnica. The club from Stip also brought experienced players but Rabotnicki is a current hit with their excellent streak in Europa League.

National Arena Philip II of Macedon in Skopje
Rabotnicki vs Bregalnica
Referee: Zoran Boskov from Negotino

It is obvious that we are heading into an exciting season. Shkendija, Metalurg, Rabotnicki and Vardar will all be battling for the first place. One can easily say that there are no weak teams and each team can beat every other. Let’s hope for a fair season and may the best team win!

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