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02.10.2015, 15:17
Skjern aiming to maintain group lead
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GROUP D PREVIEW: The only undefeated team of the group, Skjern Handbold fly to Ukraine in optimistic mood.

»EHF CL Channel »2015-16 Men's CL
»Group Phase
»
 

Skjern aiming to maintain group lead

Skjern Handbold are aiming to maintain their status as the only undefeated team in Group D of the VELUX EHF Champions League, when the fly to Ukraine to face HC Motor Zaporozhye Sunday.

Later Sunday, HCM Baia will be chasing their second successive home win against Kadetten Schaffhausen, the only team without any points in the group.
Already Saturday, HC Metalurg will be looking for more success on home grown, when they receive Elverum.

GROUP D

HC Metalurg (MKD) vs Elverum Handball Herrer (NOR)
Saturday 3 October 17:30 local time, live on ehfTV.com

Metalurg got their first win in the group phase last weekend, as they won 28:24 at home against Kadetten Schaffhausen.

On Saturday, they will be chasing their second home win in a row, when they are hosting Elverum. According to Metalurg coach Line Cervar, the win against Kadetten has done wonders for his players' self-confidence.

“Our victory against Schaffhausen is the best thing that happened to our team in the last year and is therefore very important for our performance in the next games in the Champions League.

"I am very proud of our young players who have proven to have the quality and the enormous potential. I am sure that this triumph will give us wings to achieve more good results. We respect the team of Elverum which is a classic product of Scandinavian handball school and maintain that their bad defeat of Skjern is not realistic.

I expect a tough game in which we will have to once again give our best to achieve a good result,” Lino Cervar tells ehfCL.com.

“If we make a new victory against Elverum, then we will make the duel with Skjern in Denmark a big derby,” he adds, referring to the fact, that Metalurg's next opponent, after Elverum, will be Skjern away.

Quite understandably, Elverum are keen on making up for their 37:23 defeat at home to Skjern on Sunday.

Having taken a step in the right direction by defeating Viking 37:33 in the Norwegian league on Wednesday, Elverum coach Mikael Apelgren hopes for his players to make a good performance in the Macedonian capital.

“After poor performances lately in the Champions League as well as in the Norwegian league and the Norwegian Cup, we have been struggling to find back to our game. We got a good part of the way against Viking, and the match against Metalurg is one of those matches, where we have nothing to lose, as no one can really expect us to win in Skopje,” says Mikael Apelgren.

HC Motor Zaporozhye (UKR) vs Skjern Handbold (DEN)
Sunday 4 October 16:10 local time, live on ehfTV.com

Meeting a team from Zaporozhye in the EHF Champions League is no new experience to Skjern.

In their very first Champions League campaign, the 1999-2000 season, they met ZTR Zaporozhye in the group phase.

Back then, both matches ended with Ukrainian wins, as ZTR won 20:16 in Denmark and 23:20 at home.

Naturally, Motor would like to copy the achievement of their fellow-townsmen 16 years ago, while Skjern are determined to stay top of the group, where they are the only undefeated team after two match days.

After their impressive 37:23 away win against Elverum on Sunday, Skjern suffered a surprising 29:26 defeat at home against GOG in the Danish league Wednesday night, but that has not reduced the optimism in the Danish club.

“I know Motor rather well after having met them twice with Rhein-Neckar Löwen,” Skjern line player Bjarte Myrhol tells ehfCL.com.

“They have some rather big and heavy players, and the idea for us is to make those big guys move. Actually, I think Motor are a team who suit us well, and we definitely got down there to get two more points,” adds the Norwegian international.

HCM Baia Mare (ROU) vs Kadetten Schaffhausen (SUI)
Sunday 4 October 18.00 local time, live on ehfTV.com

On Sunday, Baia Mare got their first Champions League points in history, as they defeated HC Motor Zaporozhye 35:30 on home court.

This Sunday, the Romanian champions have the home advantage once again, when they are taking on Kadetten who are the only team in the group without a point so far.

This does not make Baia Mare coach Lars Walther respect his team's upcoming opponent any less, though.

“Kadetten didn't have a perfect start in the Champions League this season, but this doesen't mean that it will be an easy task for us. In our group everybody can beat everybody, so we don't take this game lightly.

“With Csaszar as the primus motor in the team, they have a player that can make the difference. So we need to have great focus on him and try to stop him for building up their attacks. In Stojanovic they also have a very strong shooter on the right back, so also here we have to pay a lot of attention.

“Kadetten have two very strong and fast wings in Liniger and Richwien, so we have to be very fast to convert into our defence play,” finds Lars Walther.

Kadetten travel to Romania with a fresh win from the domestic league, but the Swiss champions had to struggle to win the away game against newcomers RTV Basel 27:25 on Wednesday night.


TEXT: Peter Bruun / br
 
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