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29.09.2017, 20:40
Gorenje seek Skjern victory, Motor aim to oust Montpellier
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GROUP C/D PREVIEW: Montpellier and Motor will vye for top rankings and the surprise of the tournament, Slovenian club Gorenje Velenje, will try to oust Skjern on home turf.

»EHF CL Channel »2017-18 Men's CL
»Group Phase
»
 

Gorenje seek Skjern victory, Motor aim to oust Montpellier

Put Sunday on your calendar. That is when the top-ranked teams in VELUX EHF Champions League Groups C and D will meet each other to determine the pole positions after round 3. Montpellier host Motor in a repeat of last season's epic elimination round C+D knock out battle, whilst Slovenian surprise package Gorenje Velenje host Skjern.

  • Montpellier aim to remain unbeaten against Motor in their third head-to-head match
  • Skjern Handbold travel to Slovenia to confirm who will be the highest-scoring team in Groups C+D after round 2
  • Bears and Metalurg are at home on Saturday, both playing to lift themselves from the bottom of Group D

GROUP C

Dinamo Bucuresti (ROU) vs Kadetten Schaufhausen (SUI) 29:28

 

Ademar Leon (ESP) vs Elverum (NOR)
Saturday 30 September, 19:30 local time, live on ehfTV.com

Saturday´s schedule in Groups C & D will conclude in Leon, where the 2011/12 quarterfinalists host Elverum. Ademar have a reputation of playing close matches. In the opening round Rafael Guijosa's men lost by a single goal to Gorenje Velenje, and the week after they beat strong Schaffhausen 29:28 at home.

Elverum are a team Leon should be aiming to beat in order to be considered knock out stage competitors. The Norwegians have a young and talented squad formed mostly from Scandinavian players, yet they lack European experience. Michael Apelgren's squad are typically a home team, where they have fans as the key element on their side.

Leon have a tough schedule. The game against Elverum comes only three days after a home defeat to Spanish champions Barcelona in the domestic Championship. In three out of their last five matches the game was decided by just a single goal.

Ademar's offensive power comes from Juan Garcia on the wing and the link with Alejandro Costoya in the back court. However the Spanish club need to work on their concentration and commitment throughout the full 60 minutes.

Elverum are flying high domestically but need to work on their defence on the European stage, conceding 68 goals in the opening two rounds, which makes them the worst team defensively in Groups C and D after two rounds. Their greatest strength comes from Kevin Gulliksen on the wing, who has scored 14 so far this season.

 

RK Gorenje Velenje (SLO) vs Skjern Handbold (DEN)
Sunday 1 October, 17:00 local time, live on efhtv.com

The current group D leaders Skjern are visiting Slovenia to face Gorenje Velenje. For more information about this match, read our exclusive interview with the experienced Slovenian star right wing Matjaz Bumen.

 

GROUP D

Chekhovskie Medvedi (RUS) vs Besiktas Mogaz HT (TUR)
Saturday 30 September, 16:00 local time, live on efhTV.com

 

HC Metalurg (MKD) vs Sporting CP (POR)
Saturday 30 September, 17:30 local time, live on ehfTV.com

 

Montpellier HB (FRA) vs HC Motor Zaporozhye (UKR)
Sunday 1 October, 17:00 local time, live on ehfTV.com

Handball fans look forward to Sunday, when the favourites in Group D cross paths to fight for the pole position. Both sides won in the opening two rounds, and as predicted by the experts top the group ranking. They met in the Group C+D elimination round in early March, when Montpellier advanced thanks to a two-goal away win before a stalemate in France.

After wins over Chekovskie Medvedi and a tough trip to Lisbon, Motor face the biggest challenge in the campaign. Centre back Barys Pukhouski feels, unlike in March, Motor are full of confidence and without injuries up to the challenge.

“Now we want to try to play with Montpellier in full ammunition. Let's see how the French team reacts. It will not be an easy game for them, I can tell you that,” he says.

Motor will rely on a strong back court performance supported by pace and speed on the wings.

Facing Motor, Patrice Canayer's side are on a hot streak now. The longest Champions League serving coach feels Montpellier are on fire, winning in both CL and Starligue. Canayer was satisfied with the positive aspects after last league game against Tremblay.

“We won without panic, we came back strong, we dominated physically in the last quarter of an hour. I liked the behaviour of the team in this difficult game. We were able to recover,” he says.

Motor possess offensive power and scored the second highest number of goals in groups C and D after round 2. Is this a challenge for Montpellier goalkeeper Vincent Gerard? Definitely. Is the young, talented right back Melvyn Richardson going to have his say? Tune in on Sunday on ehftv.com to find out!


TEXT: Tomas Cuncik/jh
 
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