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28.02.2014, 09:57
Defending champions in double header in Norway
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ROUND PREVIEW: Defending winners of the Women's Cup Winners' Cup, Hypo Niederösterreich are going to Norway in their attempt to reach the semi-final of the tournament this season.
 

Defending champions in double header in Norway

The Austrian record champions have agreed to play both legs of their Women's Cup Winners' Cup quarter-final tie against Byasen Trondheim in the Trondheim Spektrum this weekend. In Viborg HK, head coach Christian Dalmose sees his team as underdogs despite playing at home against FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria in a match which will be shown live and free of charge on ehfTV.

A deep respect for the opponent also characterises the statement from Buxtehuder SV coach Dirk Leun before going to Russia with his team to meet Rostov-Don, and respectful are also the words from Fred Bougeant, head coach by Fleury Loiret Handball who are receiving another Russian team, Zvezda Zvenigorod.
 
Byasen Trondheim (NOR) vs Hypo Niederösterreich (AUT)
Saturday 1 March 17.00 local time and Sunday 2 March 18.00 local time

There is mutual respect ahead of the double header in the Trondheim Spektrum this weekend.

“We are going to play against a very good and dynamic team. Byasen have an extremely strong defence and play very fast handball,” Hypo Niederösterreeich's head coach Morten Soubak said, while goalkeeper Barbara Arenhart also expressed a certain respect.

“Byasen have a very compact defence, they even have the advantage of playing both matches at home. We focus entirely on what happens on the court, though, and we definitely want to go on in the tournament,” she told her club's website.

In Byasen, head coach Claus Mogensen still sees the defending Cup Winners' Cup champions as favourites in spite of the home advantage.

“Of course, our home court should be able to help us, but I still think they are favourites. After all, they have six World champions in their team, but if we can play as a unit, in defence, attack, counter-attacks and in changing from attack to defence, I think we have a chance,” Claus Mogensen told eurohandball.com.

Rostov-Don (RUS) vs Buxtehuder SV (GER)
Saturday 1 March 17.00 local time

On top of playing at home, Rostov-Don have a further advantage in this first leg against Buxtehude. The German team will be missing Swedish international Ulrik Agren for the match in Russia. The experienced line player has been suspended for one match by the EHF Court of Handball due to her red card against Érd in the Last 16.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Buxtehude coach Dirk Leun puts a lot of his faith in the second match at home.

“In my opinion Rostov are the favourites, but we hope to have an advantage that we have the second leg at home.

“You never have an easy opponent at this stage of the competition, so we will try our best,” Dirk Leun said.

Fleury Loiret Handball (FRA) vs Zvezda Zvenigorod (RUS)
Sunday 2 March 18.00 local time

With a history as winners of the Women's EHF Champions League in 2008, Zvezda is the team with the proudest tradition of the two Russian representatives in the quarter-finals.

Therefore, it is no wonder that Fred Bougeant, head coach by Fleury, has a natural respect for his team's opponent ahead of the first meeting with Zvezda in the Du Bois Joly in Saran Sunday evening.

“There is no small team at this stage of the competition, but Zvezda is a very hard task, especially with the return match being in Russia.

“We will have to get as many advance goals as possible in the home match. It is a team that has got lots of talent, lots of experience, but I am sure my girls will give 100 per cent to go to the semis,” Fred Bougeant said.

Viborg HK (DEN) vs FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria (HUN)
Monday 3 March 20.00 local time, live on ehfTV.com

It seldom happens to Viborg HK to be underdogs in a home match in a European Cup match, but still that is the situation ahead of the first match against FTC-Rail Cargo in Viborg Standionhal Monday night – at least according to head coach Christian Dalmose.

“We meet the strongest team we could possibly meet in these quarter-finals. They probably think the same, but they are not as handicapped by injury as we are. Therefore, they are clear favourites, and we will have to be at our absolutely best in order to be able to beat them,” Christian Dalmose told eurohandball.com.

Recently, Viborg gave a remarkable comeback to former Danish international Henriette Mikkelsen. The 33-year-old left winger had actually ended her career, but agreed to help out due to the many injuries in the team.

“I do not know yet, if she will play Monday. We decide from match to match,” Christian Dalmose said.

Further information

Find the complete overview of the Women's Cup Winners' Cup Quarter-final here


TEXT: Peter Bruun / br
 
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