Big derby will be played between Turnovo and Vardar in this round which also features for the first time a game between clubs from the nearby cities of Tetovo and Gostivar plus a matchup between Bregalnica – Pelister.
Vardar humiliated Turnovo in the last round of the previous season, a match that decided the title. Vardar won 5:0 and claimed the championship, leaving Turnovo to settle for second. It’s time for revenge. Despite the home field advantage, Turnovo will have a decimated opponent as Vardar has few regular players whose availability is doubtful. Captain and central defender Radenko Bojović is injured as is striker Aco Stojkov, winger Dragan Gjorgiev and midfielder Aleksandar Petrović, while left back Mite Cikarski is ill. The home team will without central defender Dean Mitrev who is suspended due to a red card in the previous round. Also, both clubs will be without their goalscorers Jovan Kostovski and Zoran Baldovaliev. Kostovski is looking for a transfer, latest club linked with Jovan being OH Leuven in Belgium, while Baldovaliev of Turnovo already moved to Greek side Kerkyra. For the record, Turnovo’s keeper has yet to concede a goal!
An interesting game is expected in Gostivar where the home team hosts Shkendija in a match that promises to become known as the Derby of Polog. Polog is a valley in northwestern Macedonia with Gostivar and Tetovo being the two cities in it. As Gostivar is a First League debutant, this will be a first league game between teams from these cities in the best Macedonian league. The visitors will be without Ismail Ismaili who will serve his first game of the 5 match ban due to a direct red card last week.
Quality football is expected in Shtip where Bregalnica squares off against Pelister in a battle between two of the top teams in the early parts of the season. Pelister will be without suspended defenders Hristijan Dragarski and Tome Kitanovski. “I believe we won’t disappoint our fans. I would love to I continue my goalscoring form, but it’s important that we win and when it comes to scoring – let the scorer be anyone from our team.” said Bregalnica’s attacker Goran Zdravkov during the team’s press-conference on Friday.
Rabotnichki and Metalurg will strive for 3 points in their home encounters with Gorno Lisiche and Napredok. Gorno Lisiche celebrated their first win last round away to Makedonija GjP, and before that they managed to hold Vardar to a 2:2 draw, but now are visiting Rabotnichki after a shocking elimination from the Macedonian Cup by Second League side Novaci. On the other hand, Napredok is still looking for their first league win, but will face a difficult obstacle beating Metalurg away. Napredok will play their first game under new manager Gorazd Mihaylov.
While all the First League game are scheduled for Sunday, the Round 3 of the Second League will be played on Saturday.
Sunday, 25 August 2013 at 17.00 CET:
National Arena Philip II of Macedopn in Skopje
Rabotnichki vs. Gorno Lisiche
Referee: Dimitar Mechkarovski (Skopje)
Gradski stadium in Tetovo
Renova vs. Makedonija Gjorche Petrov
Referee: Marjan Eckoski (Ohrid)
Kukush stadium in Turnovo
Turnovo vs. Vardar
Referee: Aleksandar Stavrev (Skopje)
Gradski stadium in Shtip
Bregalnica Shtip vs. Pelister
Referee: Dejan Jakimovski (Skopje)
Zhelezarnica stadium in Skopje
Metalurg vs. Napredok
Referee: Goran Spirkoski (Prilep)
Gradski stadium in Gostivar
Gostivar vs. Shkendija
Referee: Stevche Shuleski (Ohrid)