The Prva Liga title race has us on the edge of our seats. Dinamo, Hajduk, Rijeka, and Osijek, the top-four sides in the league table, are separated by a minuscule five-point gap with only 11 rounds left in the season.
The final match of the season will be played between Dinamo and Hajduk at Maksimir on May 21st, a derby that could decide the champion (depending on how the rest of the season plays out). Osijek will face a struggling Gorica side in their last match of the season, while Rijeka will host Hrvatski Dragovoljac to end their campaign.
Now, to answer the million-dollar question: will Dinamo’s dominant reign come to an end this season?
Yes. And their downfall will ultimately be celebrated by Bjelica and co. as Osijek hoist the trophy in Spring.
That being said, the road to gold won’t be easy for Osijek. Hajduk can cause some serious problems with Kalinić and Livaja up front, Dinamo are world-beaters when Oršić is in his top form, and Rijeka always seem to find a way to put the ball into the back of the net, even when they are slacking on other ends of the pitch. However, Osijek’s squad depth, talent, and drive present a threat that no other side seems to possess at the moment – consistency. Believe it or not, Osijek have only lost once in their last 27 matches. During this magnificent stretch, Osijek have taken points from Dinamo, Hajduk, and Rijeka twice each.
Osijek have also been excellent in the transfer market recently. This winter alone, they signed free agent Mijo Caktaš, talented striker Antonio Mance, and HNL superstar Kristijan Lovrić, a top-three player in the league. Man for man, Osijek’s squad is arguably better than Dinamo’s at the moment.
Osijek, it might just be now or never for you guys. Dinamo Zagreb will surely field a stronger squad next season, and Hajduk will be electric once they develop chemistry between their newest arrivals. In just a few months time, Croatia will have a new champion.