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.

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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

Logo Name Stadium Capacity
DAC FC DAC 1904 Dunajská Streda MOL Aréna 10,527
zilina MŠK Žilina Štadióna MŠK Žilina 11,258
slovan ŠK Slovan Bratislava Štadión Pasienky (temporary) 11,907
trnava FC Spartak Trnava Štadión Antona Malatinského 19,200
trencin AS Trenčín Štadión Spartaka Myjava (temporary) 2,709
ružomberok MFK Ružomberok Štadión MFK Ružomberok 4,876
nitra FC Nitra Štadión pod Zoborom 7,480
podbrezova FO ŽP Šport Podbrezová ZELPO Aréna 4,000
vion FC ViOn Zlaté Moravce Štadión FC ViOn 3,787
senica FK Senica Štadión FK Senica 4,500
michalovce MFK Zemplín Michalovce Mestský štadión Michalovce 4,440
sered ŠKF iClinic Sereď Štadión 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

Club Pic Age Name Position
zilina mihalik 23 Jaroslav Mihalik AM RL
zilina skvarka 25 Michal Skvarka AM C
slovan sporar 24 Andraz Sporar ST C
slovan sporar 27 Ibrahim Rabiu DM/M/AM C
slovan moha 24 Moha AM L
slovan cavric 24 Aleksandar Cavric AM R/ST C
dac pacinda 29 Erik Pačinda AM RL
dac herc 19 Christian Herc M/AM C
trnava kulhanek 22 Jiři Kulhánek DM/M C
trenčín el mahdioui 22 Aschraf El Mahdioui DM/M C

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TOP 10 league players with highest potential

Club Pic Age Name Position
trencin sulek 20 Martin Šulek D R
trencin catakovic 21 Hamza Catakovic AM C
trencin masovic 19 Erhan Masovic D C/DM
ruzomberok kruzliak 21 Dominik Kruzliak D C
ruzomberok mustedanagic 19 Zinedin Mustedanagic AM C
trnava jirka 20 Erik Jirka AM R
zilina kacer 22 Miroslav Kacer M RC
slovan greif 21 Dominik Greif GK
dac herc 19 Christian Herc M/AM C
dac baumgartner 20 Denis Baumgartner M/AM C

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