30,000 Expected at Poljud for Eternal Derby between Hajduk and Dinamo

By 31 August 2019

August 31, 2019 - On Saturday at 6:30 pm, the 7th round of the Croatian First League will feature the first derby this season between Dinamo and Hajduk. The two teams will meet at Poljud for what is known around the world as the ‘Eternal Derby’. 

It is a chance for Hajduk to reach the top of the standings after 1399 days, with the first victory against Dinamo at Poljud after 1259 days, reports

About 30,000 fans have been announced for the match, making it an ideal opportunity for Hajduk to get a crucial win in front of their fans. Dinamo fan group Bad Blue Boys are also arriving in large numbers, who will be escorted by police from Dugopolje at 4 pm and accompanied to the stadium.

The last time Hajduk celebrated against Dinamo they were led by coach Damir Buric, their coach currently. It was on March 20, 2016, and the winning goal for Hajduk was scored in the 4th minute by Fran Tudor, a footballer who is no longer a member of Hajduk after his contract expired this summer.

"Today, it is worth the same thing. We know how good the opponent is, but we also know what we can do. We have to bring the quality we showed in previous games," Buric said at a pre-match press conference on Friday.

However, Hajduk welcomes Dinamo without Ismajli, Edouk, Posavac, and Juric.

"Their absences have disturbed us a little. Juric is out thanks to a broken bone he didn’t even know he had. We will give those a chance who have not played a lot so far. We hope that Juric and Posavac will be ready for Rijeka. We cannot wait for the match against Dinamo. We don't have a chance to play the Champions League, but now we're going to see how we stand compared to a team playing in the Champions League."

Jakolis returns after suspension for exclusion, will he get a chance?

“I feel sorry for the guy because he is a player who plays with his heart and puts everything into the match. That was the case when he was expelled in Koprivnica. I think it was unfair to him and that exclusion was too strict. For every game, we have a plan. We know what lies ahead, and the most important thing is to design our game,” Buric said.

Dinamo coach Nenad Bjelica also spoke ahead of Saturday's game. 

“We expect to win, as always, no matter what stadium or who we play against. Hajduk has played very well in their last two games at home, defeating Lokomotiva and Gorica 3:0. A difficult task awaits us, but I think we are ready. We have recovered from the match against Rosenborg, as you know we have a very wide bench, we are probably going to use all of it and show our true face,” said the Dinamo coach, who was then asked if he dreamed more about Hajduk’s Caktaš or Kevin De Bruyne. 

"Neither," laughed Bjelica, and spoke about Hajduk's best player. "Mijo was the best goal scorer last season. We respect him very much. He can handle the game with a single action. We will have to pay attention to him and keep him in control from inside the box. But there are other dangerous players in Hajduk, like Jairo, and we will need maximum concentration to win."

With such a deep bench, we can certainly expect a change in Dinamo’s lineup compared to the match in Trondheim earlier this week, but Bjelica did not want to go into detail.

"We will see after training, and we will practice somewhere around Split. There certainly will be. Hajduk is always motivated against Dinamo, they will be carried by a full Poljud, but we have played in such atmospheres in Budapest and Trondheim, where there were also full stadiums with a great atmosphere, and we came out unscathed. I believe we will succeed in Split as well."

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