This year we have decided to do something new and interesting and as such we would be starting off with a series of articles that will introduce you to Fortuna Liga, the premier football league in Slovakia, and give you an exclusive overview of this year’s participants. We will introduce you to the teams, look closer at their squads, highlight the respective strengths and weaknesses and recommend tactics that might help you in the management of the squads. And we want to say a big and warm Thank You to Mr. Arun Abraham Varghese, who helped us with the copy editing of the English text.

First we will introduce you to the league itself. Let’s get started with the 26th Fortuna Liga Season 2018/19.

Basic information

The Current Champions: FC Spartak Trnava
The Newcomer: ŠKF iClinic Sereď
UEFA League Coefficient Ranking Position: 31st position
The most successful clubs of the last three decades (since the inception of the League in 1993): ŠK Slovan Bratislava (8 League Championships, 8 FA Cups); MŠK Žilina (7 League Championships, 1 FA Cup)
Biggest Derby / Rivalry: ŠK Slovan Bratislava vs. FC Spartak Trnava (The ‘Traditional Derby’)

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Clubs

LogoNameStadiumCapacity
DACFC DAC 1904 Dunajská StredaMOL Aréna10,527
zilinaMŠK ŽilinaŠtadióna MŠK Žilina11,258
slovanŠK Slovan BratislavaŠtadión Pasienky (temporary)11,907
trnavaFC Spartak TrnavaŠtadión Antona Malatinského19,200
trencinAS TrenčínŠtadión Spartaka Myjava (temporary)2,709
ružomberokMFK RužomberokŠtadión MFK Ružomberok4,876
nitraFC NitraŠtadión pod Zoborom7,480
podbrezovaFO ŽP Šport PodbrezováZELPO Aréna4,000
vionFC ViOn Zlaté MoravceŠtadión FC ViOn3,787
senicaFK SenicaŠtadión FK Senica4,500
michalovceMFK Zemplín MichalovceMestský štadión Michalovce4,440
seredŠKF iClinic SereďŠtadión Spartaka Myjava (temporary) or Štadión pod Zoborom (temporary)2,709 / 7,480

Structure of the league

The league consists of two distinct stages, comprising of a regular season of 22 matches, where the 12 teams play each other twice, followed by a playoff round where the top 6 teams of the first stage are drawn together into a Title or Championship Group, while the remaining 6 teams make up the Retention or Relegation Group. The team that finishes first in the Title Group are crowned champions, with they winning the Trophy, literally called “The Essence of the Game”. The team also qualifies for the UEFA Champions League Qualifying Phase of the coming season. The teams that finish second and third qualify for the UEFA Europa League Qualifying Phase of the coming season, where they are joined by the winners of the FA cup. In case the FA cup is won by one of the top three teams that have already qualified for Europe, then the third Europa League spot will go to the winner of a playoff between the fourth, fifth and sixth placed teams of the Title Group and the team that finishes first in the Retention Group.

The team that finishes last in the Retention Group will automatically be relegated while the team that finishes in the second last position would have to win a two-legged playoff against the team that finishes runners-up in the Slovak Second League, in order to retain their league status. The winners of the Slovak Second League will gain automatic promotion to the First League, where they would occupy the position of the relegated team.

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TOP 10 league players

ClubPicAgeNamePosition
zilinamihalik23Jaroslav MihalikAM RL
zilinaskvarka25Michal SkvarkaAM C
slovansporar24Andraz SporarST C
slovansporar27Ibrahim RabiuDM/M/AM C
slovanmoha24MohaAM L
slovancavric24Aleksandar CavricAM R/ST C
dacpacinda29Erik PačindaAM RL
dacherc19Christian HercM/AM C
trnavakulhanek22Jiři KulhánekDM/M C
trenčínel mahdioui22Aschraf El MahdiouiDM/M C

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TOP 10 league players with highest potential

ClubPicAgeNamePosition
trencinsulek20Martin ŠulekD R
trencincatakovic21Hamza CatakovicAM C
trencinmasovic19Erhan MasovicD C/DM
ruzomberokkruzliak21Dominik KruzliakD C
ruzomberokmustedanagic19Zinedin MustedanagicAM C
trnavajirka20Erik JirkaAM R
zilinakacer22Miroslav KacerM RC
slovangreif21Dominik GreifGK
dacherc19Christian HercM/AM C
dacbaumgartner20Denis BaumgartnerM/AM C