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29.10.2015, 13:20
CSM face Buducnost in epic clash
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GROUP D PREVIEW: CSM Bucuresti and Buducnost’s first clash is the highlight of the weekend, as Lublin and Sävehof brace for tough battle
 

CSM face Buducnost in epic clash

While Lublin and Sävehof will fight for the third place, CSM Bucuresti and Buducnost are set for a tough game with first place up for grabs.

The two powerhouses are currently tied with two wins apiece, but the Romanian hosts boast a better goal difference.

GROUP D

MKS Selgros Lublin (POL) vs Sävehof IK (SWE)

Friday 30 October, 18:00 local time, live on ehfTV.com

It is do or die for both teams, who were both beaten by their opponents in the first two games.

However, a win in this ‘outsider’ tie could prove key in snatching tickets for the Main Round.

Losing several key players during the summer, Sävehof needed to reshuffle their roster and they promoted several talented, yet inexperienced players from their academy.

It did not work according to plan, as the Swedish champions have the competition’s worst attack with only 37 goals netted over the two games.

On the flip side, Lublin has one of the weakest defenses in the competition, with 64 goals conceded - seven less than Hypo Niederösterreich and only four less than RK Krim Mercator.

As Sävehof dreams of emulating last year’s Main Round presence, Lublin aims for their first progression from the group matches since the 2001/02 season.

Both teams carry away wins in their home championship with them into the tie; Lublin won 31:21 against Koszalin, while Sävehof disposed of Vasteras, 24:20.

“We had a good game against Buducnost and we hope to repeat it against Sävehof - the most important game of the season for us,” said Lublin’s goalkeeper, Weronika Gawlik, for the team’s website.

CSM Bucuresti (ROU) vs Buducnost (MNE)
Sunday 1 November, 20:00 local time, live on ehfTV.com

There are only a handful of teams who can boast a positive head-to-head quota against Buducnost.

But CSM Bucuresti is one of the undefeated teams against the Montenegrin powerhouse, winning both of their games against their powerful opponent on home soil.

Albeit the two games were only friendly matches, both were the finals of the Bucharest Trophy, a friendly tournament played at the end of August.

CSM won in 2014, 24:20, and repeated the outcome this summer, 27:26.

“It will be a different match, for sure.

“We are ready for everything that they can throw at us,” said left wing Iulia Curea, after Bucuresti won their 10th consecutive game in the Romanian League on Tuesday, against CSM Ploiesti, 32:27.

However, the game against the current title holders will be the first serious test for the Romanian champions this season.

Buducnost has an 18-game unbeaten streak in the Women’s EHF Champions League and have easily disposed of IK Sävehof (33:20) and MKS Selgros Lublin (31:23) in the first two games of the group.

It will be a special game for Cristina Neagu, Buducnost’s ace, who was born and bred in Bucharest - leaving for Brasov when she was only 18.

But Neagu has not played in Bucharest as a senior, splitting her career between Rulmentul Brasov, Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea and Buducnost.

“CSM Bucuresti are a very good team, with great players, but it is not enough to bring in good players.

“They have to be united and form a team. We hope to win the group with 12 points and not leave anything behind,” said Neagu.


TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / bc
 
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