Ukrainian Football Championship 2017-2018

The Ukrainian Football Championship 2017-2018 started on July 16 from the match “Karpat” and “Stars” (the meeting ended with the score 1: 1). Experts rightly consider this tournament second in importance after the post-Soviet space. Teams from the elite Ukrainian division annually successfully participate in the main continental championships - the Champions League and the Europa League. The competition presented is distinguished by unpredictability, abundance of goals and uncompromising struggle, especially between the middle teams in the tournament table.

Tournament regulations

The Ukrainian Football Championship 2017-2018 is held in two stages, the first of which distributes the teams into two subgroups (six in each), and the second identifies European Cup members and the football team leaving the Premier League.

In total, 12 clubs will play in the competition, and after 22 rounds they will be divided into the strongest and weakest division. Further, each team holds the final 10 rounds only in its subgroup with approximately equal in strength opponents.

The winner of the Ukrainian Football Championship gets the right to play immediately in the group stage of the Champions League. The vice champion of the competition starts the next European Cup season with the qualification of the most prestigious club championship of the Old World. Winner of the Cup of Ukraine, as well as football teams, who turned out to be in third and fourth places, get the right to play in the UEFA Europa League. The last 12 line in the table automatically lowers the team in the class and translates it into a division with the rank below. The clubs that took 10 and 11 places play butt fights with the second and third teams of the First Division (PFL) respectively.

The title of champion in the current draw is protected by Shakhtar Donetsk. Newcomers to the Premier League season of 2017-2018 are:

  • "Mariupol";
  • "Veres".

Due to the armed conflict in the east of the country, part of the teams for security purposes cannot hold official matches at their home stadiums. This issue affected Shakhtar (Donetsk), Olimpik (Donetsk) and Zarya (Lugansk). The reconstruction at the stadiums "Veres" and "Steel" also will not allow them to perform in front of their own fans.The list of all participants of the championship of Ukraine 2017-2018 year, their home arenas and represented cities, see the following table:

Team name


Home stadium




KSK "Nika"

7 000



Arena Lviv, Lviv

35 000




25 000



NSK "Olympic"

70 050



Slavutych Arena, Zaporozhye

12 000




13 300




12 000



"Arena Lviv"

35 000




16 900



"Meteor", Dnipro

24 400




34 200



Metalist, Kharkiv

40 200

The official start date of the Ukrainian Football Championship is July 16, 2017, the end of the tournament is scheduled for May 2018. In what numbers will be held butt fights for the right to remain in the elite division, the Football Federation of Ukraine (FFU) will announce on the eve of these matches.

Championship newbies

Two new clubs replaced the retired Volyn and Dnipro. The first of them, Mariupol (previously the team was called Illichivets), confidently won the First League and, most likely, will fight for the European Cups.The seriousness of the intentions of “Mariupol” is evidenced by the rental of Shakhtar players Buryachuk and Bolbat, as well as the preservation of the backbone of the team, which looked good in the second-best division of the country. Starting rounds showed that “Mariupol” is on the right path - in fights with opponents, the players regularly scored points, passing only 1 goal into their gates. Wards Alexander Sevidov made a bet on defense, pragmatically approaching each match. If the club continues in the same spirit, in the spring it will compete for the Europa League in the strongest subgroup.

"Veres" from Rovno claims to be the most unloved team in the UPL. This football team got from the First League of the Championship of Ukraine to the football elite of the country not on a sporting basis. The fact is that in the top division Chernigov “Desna” was to play, which took second place in the First League (“Veres” was on the third line). However, Desna does not have a stadium and infrastructure that meets the criteria for FFU. Veres, by the way, does not have it either, so this season the team performs at the Arena Lviv. Why in the Premier League stands exactly the club from Rivne, and not from Chernigov, is still a mystery.The starting tours showed that Vladimir Moser’s wards would not be able to claim high places in the table: all three meetings ended with the same score 0: 0.

Fight for the championship

In the Ukrainian Football Championship 2017-2018, as well as over the past decade, only two clubs will compete for first place:

  • Dynamo (Kiev);
  • "Shakhtar Donetsk).

It should be noted that both football teams did not make serious transfer acquisitions in the off-season. “Shakhtar” generally limited to one purchase of a young defender Khocholava. Club owners do not see the point of spending money, because in any case they are guaranteed a place in European competition. At what stage to begin the path in the Champions League (group or qualification), there is no such principle as for Igor Surkis and Rinat Akhmetov.

The only serious change in the camp of "Kiev" was, perhaps, a change of head coach. Instead of Sergei Rebrov, who headed the Al-Ahli club from Saudi Arabia, Alexander Khatskevich, who had previously trained the Belarusian team, came to the captain’s bridge. It should be noted that this appointment shook the "Dynamo", not knowing the bitterness of defeat in the first three rounds of the championship.Moreover, in principle, the match was beaten by Shakhtar, who hardly rolled into the tournament.

Objectively, for the championship "Dynamo" says a number of factors:

  • coach change;
  • a lighter calendar (strong contenders alternate with outsiders);
  • ultimate motivation of players (since the last championship was lost).

Of course, Shakhtar will try to play the resulting handicap, especially since there are still nearly three dozen matches ahead. Wards Paulo Fonseca able to tune in to important matches and demonstrate their best qualities, the will to win, football skills. All this makes the tournament interesting for fans, who will certainly support their favorites at the TV screens and at home arenas.

Who will play in the Europa League?

To get into the Europa League through the Cup of Ukraine is not an easy task. Here, as well as in the national championship, Dynamo Kiev and Shakhtar Donetsk dominate. In order to compete with the best clubs of the Old World, you must be at the 3rd and 4th place in the tournament. In addition, if the Cup of Ukraine is won by a team that takes places 1 through 4 in the championship,then the right to play in the second most prestigious European Club Championship goes to the fifth squad. The list of clubs applying for the highest places in the table is extensive. Among them:

  • Zarya;
  • "Steel";
  • Vorskla;
  • "Alexandria".

The main contender for the Europa League will be Zarya. In the last draw, the team won the bronze medals of the championship of Ukraine, which was the best achievement since 1972. In the offseason, the composition of the football team was significantly updated, but this is the plus of the club. Head coach Yuri Vernidub loves and knows how to work with novice players, so management has the right to count on another successful season. The only obstacle to the realization of ambitions is a game on two fronts - the domestic championship and the Europa League (at least six matches). The start of the Dawn tournament failed: only 2 points after three rounds played, but still ahead.

"Steel" in the offseason left not only the head coach Leonid Kuchuk, but also many promising players. It is rumored that the club has serious financial problems, and the players are periodically delayed salary. In such a negative atmosphere, it is extremely difficult to fight for high places, but young players still do an excellent job with the task.In the first three rounds 6 points were scored, and the only loss was Shakhtar Donetsk (1: 2).

The past season for Vorskla was unsuccessful: the club frankly disappointed its fans, not making it into the strongest subgroup. The more motivation players will have to prove the accidental failure and climb into the European Cup zone. In the offseason, the club did not make high-profile acquisitions, but Vorskla, unlike its competitors, would not have to fight on two fronts, as a result of which the team would not need a deep bench. At the start of the championship, Vorskla expectedly beat weaker opponents, losing to Shakhtar (total, 6 points after three rounds).

“Alexandria”, many experts attribute to the dark horse championship. Wards of Vladimir Sharan unstable started the championship, gaining only 2 points in three games. If it goes on like this, the club will have to forget about European cups and think about maintaining a residence permit in the elite division. Hopefully, Alexandria will have enough safety margin to perform well, taking the place in the top four.

Thus, the championship of Ukraine 2017-2018, the schedule of which is drawn up taking into account the upcoming Mundial, is already in full swing.At the start of the tournament brought a lot of surprises, exciting matches, an abundance of uncompromising struggle. Do not miss the games of one of the most spectacular football championships in Eastern Europe.

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