Monday, 4 April 2011


Zadar slipped into the relegation zone at the weekend, after suffering defeat to Istra 1961. Zadar are now heavily reliant on Ivan Santini after allowing Zelimir Terkes to go to China with Chandong Lifan. Santini would remain the teams prize asset if Zadar were relegated and may be intrigued to do a deal with Hajduk Split, with whom they have been engaging in long running business. Things are looking more rosey with Osijek, after adding Marko Babic and Goran Ljubojevic the team is on the up. President Robert Spehar also is confident of bringing Jurica Vranjes in the summer. Tomislav Sorsa is being watched by Bochum and may be sold to finance a deal.

Slaven Belupo meantime sacked coach Mile Petkovic and replaced him with former player Roy Ferencina who impressed with Lokomotiva Zagreb last season. Ferencina immediately got a reaction at the weekend with a 4-0 win. Leon Benko with 3 goals in 6 matches needs to keep scoring for the team to keep comfortable in midtable. Tomislav Busic, however has disappointed and could be moved on in the summer. Sibenik and Istra keep fighting, but are yet to get themselves out of danger. Sibenik's purchase of HNL3 striker Drazen Jelic has been highly successful, whilst Mehmad Alispahic is key. With Pedro Morales, Sammir, Antun Palic and Mario Situm all on Dinamo's books its uncertain whether Alispahic made the right move in going to the Croatian capital. Palic, particularly has seen little football since moving across from Inter Zapresic.

It appears Zapresic will fight it out with RNK Split and Cibalia for the last Europa Liga spot. Zapresic have turned around their season in remarkable fashion under Ilija Loncarevic and appear to have a future star in Macedonian striker Aleksandr Trajkovski. Cibalia have enjoyed a similar good season with Dino Kresinger and Mladen Bartolovic forming a highly successful strike partnership. Rijeka may stay happy with midtable safety after a turbulant season. Dutch signing Sergio Zijler has yet to really prove himself. Similarly whilst Vedran Gerc may earn a new contract, Rijeka may look to a more experienced forward such as Ahmad Sharbini in the summer, who sees little football at Hajduk.

Hajduk themselves could be looking for a new coach in the summer as results have been stuttering under Goran Vukevic. A new striker to support Ante Vukusic seems vital, with Croatian international Mate Bilic a likely target from Sporting Gijon. Zagreb's Ivan Kristanovic could also be looked at after a strong season at NK Zagreb. Besides Vukusic, Marin Ljubicic has impressed in midfield and Srdjan Andric has performed better when pushed into a playmaker role.