«nov 2017»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
303112345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930123
45678910
«dec 2017»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
27282930123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
1234567
«jan 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930311234
567891011
«feb 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2930311234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627281234
567891011
«mar 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2627281234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930311
2345678
«apr 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2627282930311
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30123456
«may 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
30123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031123
45678910
«jun 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
28293031123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
2526272829301
2345678
«jul 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2526272829301
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
303112345
«aug 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
303112345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
272829303112
3456789
«sep 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
272829303112
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
1234567
«oct 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930311234
567891011
AlbaniaAndorraArmeniaAustriaAzerbaijanBelgiumBosnia HerzegovinaBelarusBulgariaCroatiaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkSpainEstoniaFaroe IslandsFinlandFranceGreat BritainGeorgiaGermanyGreeceHungaryIrelandIcelandIsraelItalyKosovoLatviaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMoldovaFYR MacedoniaMaltaMontenegroMonacoNetherlandsNorwayPolandPortugalRomaniaRussiaSloveniaSerbiaSwitzerlandSlovakiaSwedenTurkeyUkraine
 
EnglandScotland
Other EHF Sites 

09.10.2015, 16:30
Skopje cauldron awaits roaring Lions
«Go back »Print Version


GROUP B PREVIEW: German league leaders Rhein-Neckar Löwen visit HC Vardar in the most eagerly awaited Round 4 contest while Hungarians Szeged face a tricky trip to Denmark

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

Skopje cauldron awaits roaring Lions 

The battle in VELUX EHF Champions League Group B is heating up and the fourth set of matches is set to produce some more fascinating clashes, with Rhein-Neckar Löwen’s visit to HC Vardar Skopje undoubtedly the pick of the lot.

While the top two battle it out in the Macedonian capital, holders Barcelona will start as strong favourites at home to Montpellier and Kielce will expect a similarly straight-forward task against top flight debutants Kristianstad.

Finally, there is the intriguing contest between Kolding Kobenhavn and Szeged in Denmark, with the Danish champions desperately needing a win after three straight defeats.

KS Vive Tauron Kielce (POL) vs IFK Kristianstad (SWE)
Saturday 10 October 16:00 local time, live on ehfTV

After a patchy start to the group phase in Europe’s premier club competition, Polish title holders Kielce will expect nothing less than an emphatic win against newcomers Kristianstad.

Kielce will be buoyed by last round’s thrilling 32:32 draw at Rhein-Neckar Löwen, which left them fourth in the section on three points from three games.

Their deep roster showed quality in Mannheim, with backcourt powerhouse Michal Jurecki netting a game-high nine goals while Julen Aguinagalde and Karol Bielecki added five each, underlining Kilece’s potent firepower.

Having stunned Kolding Kobenhavn 33:26 at home before an unlucky 34:32 defeat at Barcelona, Swedish champions Kristianstad were cut down to size in a 30:25 defeat by HC Vardar at home.

Both teams enjoyed fine national league warm-ups for the clash – with Kielce beating Kwidzyn Zabrze 38:28 while Kristianstad blew away Aranas 31:18 and judging by their high-scoring performances, fans can expect goals galore on Saturday.

“We need to treat Kristianstad with a lot of respect and stay firmly focused on getting the job done,” Kielce coach Talant Dujshebaev told the club’s official website.

“It should be interesting for the fans because they play quick handball with a lot of movement, with their wingers scoring seven or eight goals per game and that says a lot about them.

“They are a young outfit playing typical Swedish handball and it will be much tougher to beat than many people might expect.”

HC Vardar (MKD) vs Rhein-Neckar Lowen (GER)
Saturday 10 October, 17:30 local time, ehfTV Match of the Week

Fans and pundits, brace yourselves for a spectacular top-of-the table clash between the section’s only two unbeaten teams, with Vardar topping it on a maximum six points ahead of RNL who have five after a somewhat surprising home draw against Kielce.

The Lions from Mannheim quickly rectified that relative slip-up with an impressive 24:20 Bundesliga home defeat of German champions THW Kiel on Wednesday, the result leaving them sitting proudly at the pinnacle of the standings with nine wins from as many games.

RNL again demonstrated ironclad defence and ruthless efficiency in attack from clear-cut opportunities, meaning that they will head confidently into the cauldron of Vardar’s Jane Sandanski arena.

A sell-out crowd of 13,200 saw them beat Kiel in the SAP Arena but the roaring Lions now face a different kind of music when they head to the Macedonian capital, where a raucous home crowd are bound to get behind Vardar in what should be a rip-roaring contest.

Mercurial winger Uwe Gensheimer, who is set to join Paris Saint-Germain next season, again stood out with seven goals, albeit five of them from penalties.

Most of the plaudits, though, went to RNL’s outstanding goalkeeper Mikael Appelgren, who will need to reproduce that kind of performance in order to give his team the edge against Vardar.

“We allowed only seven goals in the first half although Kiel tried everything, thanks to Mikael who was quite simply superb,” said his team mate Kim Ekdahl Du Rietz, while coach Nikolaj Jacobsen added: “The defence in the first half was very good and Mikael stood strong.”

Vardar, who have made a perfect start in Europe’s elite club competition, are hoping that their home fans will make the difference in a heavyweight clash likely to go down to the wire.

“We are in a very good situation after three straight wins but we are now up against Rhein-Neckar Löwen, who are the best German team at the moment and I think they will win the Bundesliga title,” Vardar coach Raul Gonzales told reporters.

“It’s going to be an almighty challenge and hence we will need all the support we can get from our fans. RNL play great defence and we must forget our matches against them last season because this one is completely different.”

The two teams also met in the 2014/15 group phase, with Vardar winning in Skopje 28:25 before blowing away Rhein-Neckar Lowen 35:28 in the return fixture.

FC Barcelona Lassa (ESP) vs Montpellier HB (FRA)
Saturday 10 October 19:00 local time, live on ehfTV

Following the opening 22:21 defeat by Rhein-Neckar Löwen, defending European club champions Barcelona ground out two successive victories and their home clash with French rivals Montpellier should continue that winning streak.

However, the Spanish outfit are far from their best form, as they still looked rusty in a tight 34:32 home success against novices Kristianstad as well as in last round’s 30:28 win at MOL-Pick Szeged, having conceded too many goals in both outings.

Barcelona are suffering at both ends of the court after the departure of centre back Nikola Karabatic to Paris Saint-Germain, although new signing Filip Jicha, Macedonian sharpshooter Kiril Lazarov and the support cast have so far done a relatively good job sharing the workload in attack.

Barcelona enjoyed a light workout for the match with an emphatic 37:28 win at Spanish league rivals Go Fit Sinfin on Wednesday, which equalled Ciudad Real’s record of 67 consecutive wins in the Asobal League.

Lazarov was in particularly good form, rifling in a game-high nine goals in Santander as Barcelona carved out a 27:19 advantage and never looked back.

Montpellier fine-tuned their engines with a 37:30 home win over Aix in the French first division, where they are in second position with eight points from five games – two behind frontrunners PSG.

Slovenian Jure Dolenec netted seven goals from nine shots and Baptiste Bonnefond added five from six, capping a flowing team effort which pleased their coach Patrice Canayer.

“It was a very important win and the good thing is that we kept a lot of players on the court for under 40 minutes. This is essential because we are still in the early stages of a very long season. We will go to Barcelona with a lot of heart and determination and we will see what happens.”

KIF Kolding Kobenhavn (DEN) vs MOL-Pick Szeged (HUN)
Sunday 11 October, 16:50 local time, live on ehfTV

For struggling Kolding Kobenhavn, this is quite simply a must-win match. The Danish champions have slipped from one defeat to another since their opening 33:26 loss at newcomers Kristianstad, meaning that they have precious little room for error if they are to advance past the group phase of the competition.

The previous round’s sound 30:25 defeat at Montpellier, despite the home side missing their four penalty shots, suggests Kolding face another mountain to climb against a solid Szeged side who pushed Barcelona to the limit in a 30:28 home defeat by the holders.

Kolding will rest the bulk of their hopes on the scoring prowess of Lasse Anderson and Kasper Irming, who rifled in nine goals each against Montpellier.

They will also need veteran playmaker Bo Spellerberg to perform at the top of his limits; otherwise the Danish outfit could turn out to be easy prey for Szeged.

A rugged 24:24 home draw against Mors in the national league again highlighted Kolding’s vulnerability. The home side threw away a 22:19 lead in the closing stages and also conceded an equaliser on the buzzer, with Spellerberg and Kasper Irming Andersen netting six goals each in the see-saw encounter.

Szeged enjoyed a better fortune heading into the clash with Kolding Kobenhavn, having ground out a 32:30 home win over Cegledi which kept them top of the Hungarian first division with a maximum 16 points from eight games.

They too will view this game as an opportunity to move up the table in the VELUX EHF Champions League, where they have one win and two defeats from their opening three matches.

Following a commendable 31:30 home win over Kielce, Szeged tamely went down 27:23 at Vardar before a 30:28 home defeat by Barcelona in the previous round, meaning that they have plenty of work to do if they are to secure a top-six finish and thus a berth in the competition’s knockout stages.


TEXT: Zoran Milosavljevic / cor
 
Share
CONTACT FORM
x