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24.11.2017, 15:30
Leon and Velenje face must-win games
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GROUP C/D PREVIEW: Skjern, Velenje and Leon are likely to tough it out until the last second for the two play-off berths in Group C as the three sides will meet in the last two rounds

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

Leon and Velenje face must-win games

While everything has been settled in VELUX EHF Champions League Group D - with Montpellier and Motor having secured the first two places - Group C is still wide open with a quartet of teams fighting for one of the two play-off berths.

Skjern could earn their play-off spot with a draw against Leon, but the Spanish side are in a must-win situation as Velenje are level on points and Elverum are looking for every possible chance.

  • Skjern have scored the most goals (260) in the competition after eight matches

  • Leon have recovered from a tough start but need another win to stay in the hunt

  • The Group C winners play Motor, the runners-up face Montpellier in the play-offs

GROUP C

Abanca Ademar Leon (SPA) vs Skjern Håndbold (DEN)
Saturday 25 November, 19:30 hrs local time, live on ehfTV.com

After losing three of their first four games this season, Leon looked like they had themselves muted from the play-off conversation.

But an unexpected resurgence saw the Spanish side take four wins from their last five games, which got them back in contention.

Leon are still in a difficult position as they face a must-win situation against Skjern on Saturday.

The 33:25 drubbing received in Denmark was a stern wake-up call for Leon, who are looking to capitalize on Skjern’s away woes.

The Danish side lost against both Kadetten and Velenje in away games and their offensive production drops by four goals scored per game while on away courts.

But Skjern have been unbeatable so far in November with a winning run of seven games in both the VELUX EHF Champions League and the domestic league.

Leon are also unbeaten in all competitions this months, with their only blip on the radar being a 27:27 draw with Huesca in the Spanish league last week.

With a win against Leon, Skjern would be closing in on securing first place in the group as their last game will be against Velenje. But a loss for the Spanish side could bring them in all sorts of trouble with Velenje being the favourite against Kadetten on home court in a simultaneous match on Saturday.

Rk Gorenje Velenje (SLO) vs Kadetten Schaffhausen (SUI)
Saturday 25 November, 19:30 hrs local time, live on ehfTV.com

Velenje’s impressive season has been built on their amazing home form. They won all four games on own court, including against their biggest play-off rivals, Leon and Skjern.

The Slovenian side will surely be seen as favourites against Kadetten, a team that have thoroughly disappointed this season and are coming off a three-game losing streak.

Their last defeat (24:23 against Leon) was heart-breaking as the Swiss side staged an impressive comeback but missed a seven-metre shot in the last second of the game.

With their hopes over, Kadetten will be looking to end the season of a high and repeat their 31:28 win against Velenje on their home court.

But the Swiss side failed to win this season while not playing at home, losing all four away games.

Therefore, Velenje, who have everything to play for, will be motivated to take the two points and get ready for the showdown against Skjern in the last round, which could be crucial.

Dinamo Bucuresti (ROU) vs Elverum Handball (NOR)
Sunday 26 November, 18:00 hrs local time, live on ehfTV.com

GROUP D

Chekhovskie Medvedi (RUS) vs Sporting CP (POR)
Saturday 25 November, 15:00 hrs local time, live on ehfTV.com

HC Metalurg (MKD) vs  HC Motor Zaporozhye (UKR)
Saturday 25 November, 19:30 hrs local time, live on ehfTV.com

Montpellier HB (FRA) vs Besiktas Mogaz HT (TUR)
Sunday 26 November, 17:00 hrs local time, live on ehfTV.com


TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / ew
 
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