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16.02.2018, 16:40
Top teams go head-to-head in Groups B and C
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ROUND PREVIEW: First round winners meet in two groups as the remaining six matches of Round 2 in the Men´s EHF Cup Group Phase are played this weekend.

»EC Channel »2017-18 Men's EHF Cup
»Group Phase
»
 

Top teams go head-to-head in Groups B and C

The number of teams with maximum points will obviously be reduced, when the second match day of the Men´s EHF Cup is completed with six matches this weekend.

In two of the groups, teams with maximum points are meeting, and in a further group, we find a third match between undefeated teams.

  • Saint-Raphael, Anaitasuna, Koper, Göppingen and Pulawy are all chasing their second successive win
  • Half of the teams in the group phase are still undefeated
  • Six teams are still waiting for their first points

GROUP A

TATRAN Presov (SVK) vs SKA Minsk (BLR)

Saturday 17 February 18:00hrs local time, live on ehfTV.com

After SC Magdeburg defeated Bjerringbro-Silkeborg 33:26 at home Wednesday, this will be the only match in the group this weekend.

Both teams will be chasing their first points in the Tatran Handball Arena in Presov on Saturday evening.

Presov did not stand a chance in their opening match in Denmark, where they lost 27:19 against Bjerringbro-Silkeborg.

Minsk did better at home against Magdeburg, but ended up losing 33:31.

A possible winner of Saturday's game will stay in a good position in the race for the quarter-final tickets, while the loser will already be in trouble.

 

GROUP B

Saint-Raphael Var Handball (FRA) vs Helvetia Anaitasuna (ESP)

Saturday 17 February 20:45hrs local time, live on ehfTV.com.

With this meeting between two winners from the first match day, we already have a premature top game in the group.

Saint-Raphael made the most impressive effort in their opening match, though, winning 26:21 away against number two in the Bundesliga, Füchse Berlin.

Anaitasuna had considerably more trouble at home against an apparently easier opponent, Lugi HF from Sweden, but the Spanish side ended by landing a narrow 34:32 win.

On home ground, Saint-Raphael, who reached the EHF Cup Finals last season, will obviously be chasing a further win with eagerness.

As the two other teams in the group, Lugi HF and Füchse Berlin, already met on Thursday with a 32:27 win for Füchse as the outcome, the encounter in Saint Raphael is the only match in this group this weekend.

 

GROUP C

RD Koper (SLO) vs Frisch Auf Göppingen (GER)

Saturday 17 February 19:00hrs local time, live on ehftv.com

Another match between two sides who began with a win last weekend.

Koper were able to travel home from Finland with a 32:27 win against Cocks, while Göppingen won 30:27 at home against Croatian RK Nexe.

Göppingen, who have won the EHF Cup for the past two years, may have to step up to double their points in Slovenia, where Koper will have the support of the home crowd in the Sportna Dvorana Bonifika.

Yet, Göppingen can take some confidence with them from their 24:19 win home win against TuS N-Lübbecke in the Bundesliga as late as Thursday night.

 

RK Nexe (CRO) vs Cocks (FIN)

Sunday 18 February, 18:00hrs local time

To the two teams who meet in the OŠ kralja Tomislava in Nasice on Sunday evening, the situation is the opposite of that of the two sides in the match above.

Nexe as well as Cocks are chasing their first points in the competition.

Despite having loaned right back Ivan Srsen out to Hungarian VELUX EHF Champions League team MOL-Pick Szeged, Nexe did quite well in their opening match away against Frisch Auf Göppingen, where the Croatian side suffered a relatively narrow 30:27 defeat.

Cocks were leading by three goals at home against RD Koper, but ended with a 32:27 defeat, and the Finnish champions are still without a point in the group phase in two seasons.

 

GROUP D

Wacker Thun (SUI) vs Chambery Savoie Mont Blanc Handball (FRA)

Saturday 17 February 17:00hrs local time, live on ehfTV.com

Wacker Thun, who play with a squad consisting exclusively of Swiss players, started their first group phase campaign in the EHF Cup with a narrow 31:29 away defeat to fellow debutants KS Azoty-Pulawy SA from Poland.

In their first home match ever in the EHF Cup Group Phase, Wacker welcome former EHF Cup finalist Chambery who drew 30:30 at home against Fraikin BM. Granollers in their opening match in the group.

The competition for the quarter-final berths seems to be hotting up in Group D, so both teams will be hunting the win with all they have got.

Neither team got the best possible dress rehearsal for Saturday's match, though.

Wacker Thun lost 30:28 at home against Pfadi Winterthur in the Swiss league Wednesday, while Chambery did even poorer in the French top flight, losing 30:21 at home against Montpellier on the same evening.

Fraikin BM. Granollers (ESP) vs KS Azoty-Pulawy SA (POL)

Sunday 18 February 19:00hrs local time, live on ehfTV.com

Granollers were reaching out for the win in the opening match in Chambery, especially in the first half, where the Spanish side were leading by five goals several times.

In the end, however, Granollers went home with just one point after a 30:30 draw.

On Wednesday, Granollers conceded 30 goals again, but this time they scored 31 and won the away game against Valladolid in the Spanish league.

Group phase debutants Pulawy were also involved in a close finish in their first group match.

After leading by five goals at home against Wacker Thun, the Polish team watched the visitors catch up and were only able to land the 31:29 win in the very last seconds.

Pulawy went on to win by as much as 38:24 away against Szczecin in the Polish league on Wednesday, so there should be two confident teams meeting in the Palau d´Esports de Granollers Sunday evening.


TEXT: Peter Bruun / at
 
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