HAJDUK IS READY TO PARTY AFTER THE DRAW, BUT WILL THEY FEEL THE SAME IN DECEMBER?Both Hajduk Split and Dinamo Zagreb dodged bullets at the Europa League group stage draw Friday afternoon in Monaco; missing being drawn against any European elites. Both Croatian clubs will make trips to Belgium and Greece this year as Dinamo plays Villareal, PAOK and Ivan Perišić’ Club Brugge, while Hajduk face Zenit St. Petersburg, Anderlecht and AEK Athens.
Dinamo and Hajduk have legitimate chances of getting through to the knockout rounds with these favorable draws. The boys from Zagreb should feel good about this year as Club Brugge and PAOK can be beaten, especially with wins against Ajax and Anderlecht in recent years. Can Hajduk keep the momentum going against Athens and Anderlecht? Taking points from these clubs would not be inconceivable, especially in front of a packed Poljud after a 15-year absence from European play.
CSR wishes Nikola Pokrivač and his Red Bull Salzburg side all the luck in the world as they face European giants Juventus and Manchester City. Domagoj Vida’s Bayer Leverkusen side should have no trouble in Group B while Ognjen Vukojević and Dynamo Kyiv should also breeze through. Will Zenit field ex-Hajduk defender Ivica Križanac when he returns home to play in Split later this year?