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12.02.2016, 17:20
Rostov put unbeaten record to the test in Budapest
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GROUP 1 PREVIEW: Leaders try to maintain their perfect run in the red hot arena of FTC while in-form Fleury and Baia Mare clash for qualification spots

»EHF CL Channel »2015-16 Women's CL
»Main Round
»
 

Rostov put unbeaten record to the test in Budapest

It is crunch time in Group 1 as Ferencváros try to beat the unbeatable Rostov Don side in Budapest, Fleury take on high-flying Baia Mare while Larvik try to avoid a major slip-up against Thüringer HC.

FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria (HUN) vs Rostov Don (RUS)
Saturday 13 February 2016, 15:00 local time, live on ehfTV.com

If there’s on team that can stop Rostov Don from clinching the increasingly likely group win, it’s Ferencváros, however, for now the ’Budapest Greens’ may be content with robbing the Russian visitors of their unbeaten record.

Rostov wouldn’t mind waving goodbye to their immaculate record as long as they snatch a draw at FTC as a point would also be enough to seal their place on top of Group 1.

However, there are not many teams that could conquer the fortress of the Hungarian champions (whichever of the three it may be) and the home side will be eager to keep their hopes alive and at the same time keep their chasers behind them.

Katrine Lunde knows the Ferencváros players very well having played against them lots of times during her tenure with Györ and the Main Round game in Rostov showed the Norwegian superstar still remembers which the favourite spots the Ferenváros’ shooters have.

FTC suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Baia Mare and apart from the magnificent Nerea Pena all backs need to get back in form. If Szandra Zacsik and Zita Szucsanszki rise to the occasion they can cause problems to the massive wall of the visitors, who will also have to get ready for the red hot atmosphere in Budapest.

Thüringer HC (GER) vs Larvik (NOR)
Sunday 14 February 2016, 14:00 local time, live on ehfTV.com

Thüringer’s hopes of repeating last year’s feat by making it to the quarter-finals are hanging by a thread; beating Larvik at home is a matter of life and death for the German champions.

Larvik have suffered two defeats in a row and were forced to surrender their third place to in-form Baia Mare, so it is not an overstatement that this match in Nordhausen is as equally as important for the Norwegian powerhouse.

Larvik only won one of their three Main Round games but having beaten Thüringer with ease the visitors will have the upper hand even in Germany.

Eliza Buceschi and Co will have to repeat their performance against Baia Mare if they want to keep their fading hopes alive while Larvik also have room to improve from what they showed against Fleury - who gave the Norwegians a lesson on the importance of defense.

The visitors risk falling behind qualification spots so motivation should not be an issue for Tor Odvar Moen’s ladies.

Fleury Loiret Handball (FRA) vs HCM Baia Mare (ROM)
Sunday 14 February 2016, 19:00 local time, live on ehfTV.com

In the wake of their sensational victory over Larvik in Norway, Fleury Loiret welcome in-form HCM Baia Mare in what promises to be a vicious dogfight for the qualification spots.

The Romanian outfit, who started the Main Round empty handed, are finally playing to their potential.

Led by the majestic Allison Pineau, current leader of the top scorers’ table, Baia Mare are on a spectacular run of three consecutive wins and occupy third place behind Ferencváros. That’s what you call a resurection!

Fleury are level with Baia Mare on six points but having lost to their opponents in Romania the French newcomers know another defeat would almost surely cost their place in the quarter-finals.

However, Les Panthers are in a great form, too, Gnonsiane Niombla and Alexandrina Cabral Barbosa inspired a huge win away at Larvik, which means they remain masters of their own fate in Group 1.


TEXT: Bence Martha / bc
 
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