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16.10.2015, 15:49
Porto and Brest battle it out for the top
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GROUP C PREVIEW: With three teams on six points the competition is fierce in VELUX EHF Champions League Group C and all three, Porto, Brest and Naturhouse La Rioja, hope to stay in the race for group’s top spots

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

Porto and Brest battle it out for the top

Group C reaches its halfway mark with teams playing their respective fifth match this weekend. On Saturday group leaders Meshkov Brest travel to Portugal to take on FC Porto.

La Rioja, who have six points just like Brest and Porto, face a tough test against in-form Vojvodina, while Presov are still hunting their first point when they play at home against Medvedi.

GROUP C

Clube do Porto (POR) vs Meshkov Brest (BLR)

Saturday 17 October, 18:00 hrs local time, live on ehfTV

With both teams having lost just one game so far, the battle for first place in Group C takes place on Saturday in Porto. And Porto are up for a tough fight, as Meshkov Brest can boast themselves with the competition’s third best attack to date and the group’s best defence.

However, Porto are a force to reckon with, in particular at home where they won their two matches so far, and last week’ s comeback in the second half against Vojvodina shows the wide roster head coach Ricardo Costa has at his disposal.

Brest coach Sergey Bebeshko is aware that his team is in for a battle. "Porto have built a competitive team. Their leader has remained the same though – Duarte. Together with captain Moreira he builds the backbone of the team. They are dangerous in attack and organised in the back. In front of their own fans they will be full of confidence."

Brest will have to replace injured goalkeeper Ivan Pesic, but Pavel Atman, best scorer against La Rioja last weekend, should make it into the squad.

Vojvodina (SRB) vs Naturhouse La Rioja (ESP)

Saturday, 17 October, 18:00 hours local time, live on ehfTV

The victory at TATRAN Presov last week marked Vojvodina’s first away win in EHF Champions League history and underlined the team’s status as a surprise package in the competition so far.

For the game against Naturhouse La Rioja fans will enjoy free entrance to the Spens Arena in Novi Sad and will most definitely bring an electrifying atmosphere to the stands.

Filip Marjanovic is Vojvodina’s best scorer alongside centre backs Bojan Todorovic and Dejan Pralica who both showed superb performances against Presov. The trio will be vital if the Serbian team wants to score another win.

Their Spanish opponents count on the goals of Cristian Malmagro and Angel Fernandez who together have netted 54 times already.

The two teams met in Round 3 of the EHF Cup three years ago. Both teams won their respective home match, but eventually the Spanish side advanced with the better goal difference.

TATRAN Presov (SVK) vs Chekhovskie Medvedi (RUS)

Sunday, 18 October 18:00 hrs local time, live on ehfTV

It’s the 'match of the disappointed‘ in Presov on Sunday, as the home side still waits for its first win and Medvedi lost three of their first four matches.

Left back Oliver Rabek has returned to Presov after his injury, but he is not up to 100 per cent yet. And several other players are still not able to play. "It is not easy to play among the European elite without your first choice players. We are lacking options in the back court," says head coach Rastislav Trtik.

His counterpart, Medvedi coach Vladimir Maximov celebrated his 70th birthday on Wednesday. On the day his team won against Kaustik in the Russian Superleague, yet the match at Presov seems to be an ideal opportunity for his players to bounce back on the European level following three consecutive losses.


TEXT: Tomas Cuncik / ts
 
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