Hajduk v. Osijek: The Derby Played on Torcida’s 66. Birthday

Daniela Rogulj

The Hajduk and Osijek derby will take place today at Poljud for the 14th round of MAXtv PrvaLiga today at 17h. This match is a direct battle for third place in the rankings, and what makes things more interesting? Torcida celebrates their 66th birthday today.

Both Hajduk and Osijek had quite a difficulty in their Croatian Cup games played earlier this week, but both pulled out wins against second-division Solin and Šibenik. Today at Poljud will lead the great battle for third place, which guarantees the performance in the last qualifying round of the Europa League next season, reports TPortal.hr.


The game also marks the celebration of the 66th anniversary of Hajduk’s Torcida which is expected to boast a spectacular atmosphere at Poljud with choreography for Žan Ojdanic, one of the legends and ideologues of the Split fan movement who tragically passed away. Hajduk, aside from the celebrations, has a roster riddled with absences.


“The injured are Ismaili and Ohandza and we worked on replacement in training – both injuries are the result of the derby against Dinamo. We knew they would be out for three or four weeks, and it would not be good if we pushed back. Ohandza had a serious knee injury, and Šimić and Said have cards. Against Istria, Vlašić was injured on his abdominal wall and must take another MRI. The others are ready, we trained well, and the atmosphere will be good and everyone will do their best against Osijek,” explains Hajduk coach Marijan Pušnik on the current situation. With no attackers such as Said or Ohandza, and no attacking midfielder such as Vlašić, the competition here is narrowed down. Hungarian center forward Futacs will be at the peak, and Tudor, Hamza and Erceg right behind him.


“Osijek for me is no surprise, and when I said that at the beginning of the championship that we will fight them for third place, I received a barrage of criticism. They are well arranged, have invested in players and are particularly dangerous at home as they quickly open the counter-attack through Boban, Ejupi and Perošević. I do not see them a bad hand, but we’re in good shape, and this year we lost only three games against Maccabi, Dinamo and Rijeka. I expect an open game and our victory,” added Pušnik.


In the matches of these two rivals at Poljud, Hajduk in the past 11 matches has 8 wins and 3 draws, while Osijek has not triumphed at Poljud since April 2008. Osijek in the last round at home beat Lokomotiva which broke a string of three games without a win, and on Wednesday they celebrated a victory in Sibenik with a 2:1 win in their Cup game.


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