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31.08.2017, 11:30
Kiel enjoy the pick of goalkeepers for the new season
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FIRST-HAND INSIGHT: EHF correspondent Kevin Domas reveals who he believes are the best goalkeeping pairings in this season's VELUX EHF Champions League.

»EHF CL Channel »2017-18 Men's News
»
 

Kiel enjoy the pick of goalkeepers for the new season

Goalkeepers are probably the most important players in a handball team. Let's be honest, you could have all the best players in the world, but if the guy between the posts is not up to the task then it is very hard to win an elite competition such as the VELUX EHF Champions League.

Here are EHF correspondent Kevin Domas' picks for the 10 best goalkeeping pairs for next season. Yes, pairs, because you can't just have one good goalkeeper, it is better to have two.

10. Sierra / Sego (MOL-Pick Szeged)

Spaniard José Manuel Sierra had a great season last year, while Marin Sego took time to blend in. With a season's worth of action under his belt, Sego will now be someone for attackers in Europe's elite club competition to be scared of.

9. Gérard / Portner (Montpellier Handball)

Even if Montpellier will again be competing in the lower groups of the competition, it's impossible to ignore Gérard and Portner. Gérard was selected as best goalkeeper at the 2017 World Championship, while former Schaffhausen player Portner is among the best up-and-coming goalkeepers. No wonder Montpellier made it to the quarter-finals last season.

8. Ivic / Szmal (Vive Tauron Kielce)

If you thought that Slawomir Szmal was too old to carry on, think again. The Polish stopper is in for another season, helping Croatian wonder Filip Ivic. The former Zagreb goalkeeper was among the best goalkeepers last season, often producing some top saves.

7. Andersson / Moller (SG Flensburg-Handewitt)

Perhaps this pair deserve to rank slightly higher, but with Moller being injured until the end of 2017, it's hard to say what's going to happen. Like Szmal and Omeyer, Andersson is due to retire at the end of the season.

6. Appelgren / Palicka (Rhein-Neckar Löwen)

Will the Swedish pair help Rhein-Neckar Löwen qualify for the VELUX EHF Champions League quarter-finals again? Only time will tell, but this pair had a great season in the Bundesliga last year. If they repeat their performances across Europe, the Lions might not be too far from Cologne.

5. Sterbik / Milic (HC Vardar)

This is, without question, the heaviest pair of the Champions League. Weighing in at a combined 254kg, last year they led one of the best defences in the competition all the way to the title. In this case, bigger is definitely better.

4. Mikler / Alilovic (Telekom Veszprém)

These two men have been teammates between the posts for three seasons now, and it is something you can sense by looking at them. Veszprém can be confident that, no matter the opponent, one of the two goalkeepers will put in a good performance. This well-oiled duo will terrify attackers in the VELUX EHF Champions League this season.

3. Perez de Vargas / Ristovski (FC Barcelona Lassa)

Gonzalo Perez de Vargas was impressive last season. His quarter-final performance against Kiel, while coming back from a finger injury, is still clear in everybody's mind. He did not leave much room for Macedonian Borko Ristovski, but the former Rhein-Neckar Löwen player still proved he could help whenever needed. If these two repeat the same performances as last season, Barcelona will not be far from Cologne again.

2. Omeyer / Corrales (Paris Saint-Germain Handball)

Last season, when Thierry Omeyer struggled, it was Gorazd Skof filling in for him. With the Slovenian gone, it's one of the best upcoming goalkeepers in Europe that will back-up Omeyer, in what could possibly be the Frenchman's final season. Corrales proved himself in Plock for three seasons, and he's now ready enter the top circle of goalkeepers.

1. Landin / Wolff (THW Kiel)

An Olympic champion and an EHF EURO winner, what more could you possibly hope for? There might have been some talk this summer of German stopper Andreas Wolff wanting to play more important games, but he remains at Kiel nonetheless. With two of the best specialists in the game, the Kiel pairing go top of the ranking. 


TEXT: Kevin Domas / ap
 
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