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28.09.2018, 15:31
Four teams look to preserve their 100% record
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GROUP A/B PREVIEW: Barça Lassa will hope to continue their pleasant form while visiting Kristianstad for the MOTW, while Vardar, PSG, Szeged and Skjern put their 100% records on the line

»EHF CL Channel »2018-19 Men's CL
»Group Phase
»
 

Four teams look to preserve their 100% record

There were only two rounds played in the VELUX EHF Champions League, but the balanced nature of the competition means that there are only four unbeaten teams in Groups A and B. All of them will be seriously tested this weekend.

Vardar will travel to Veszprem, where the home side have only lost once in the previous 13 games, while Kristianstad hope to avoid tying their worst-ever losing streak in the Match of the Week against Barça Lassa.

Meanwhile, Group B has three teams with a 100% winning record. PSG are favourites against Zagreb to extend their winning streak, as Skjern will make a trip to last year’s finalists, Nantes. The other team with a flawless record, MOL-Pick Szeged, has a tough away fixture against Motor, who lost their first two games.

GROUP A
MOTW: IFK Kristianstad (SWE) vs Barça Lassa (ESP)
Saturday, 29 September, 19:30 hrs CET, live on ehfTV.com

  • Kristianstad, who lost their previous games against Meshkov Brest and Vardar, have never started the VELUX EHF Champions League group phase with three consecutive defeats

  • The Swedish side has one of the worst defensive records in the competition after three rounds, with 65 conceded goals, only Rhein-Neckar Löwen and Motor Zaporozhye having worst defences

  • Kristianstad is currently on a four-game losing streak, while a Barcelona win on Saturday would see the Swedish side tie their worst-ever longest losing run in the VELUX EHF Champions League

  • Barcelona have a flawless record against Kristianstad, with four wins out of four games, with an average win difference of four goals

Telekom Veszprém HC (HUN) vs HC Vardar (MKD)
Saturday, 29 September, 17:30 hrs CET, live on ehfTV.com

  • Vardar failed to win any of the previous six games against Veszprém, with the Hungarian side coming successful in five instances, while one game finished in a draw

  • The Macedonian side is eyeing their third consecutive win to start the season, a feature they achieved in the previous four seasons

  • Veszprem goalkeeper Arpad Sterbik will face his former teammates, after playing for the last four seasons at Vardar, where he won the VELUX EHF Champions League two seasons ago

  • Veszprem have won 12 of their last 13 home games in the European premium competition, their only defeat coming last season at the hands of PSG


Montpellier HB (FRA) vs PGE Vive Kielce (POL)
Sunday, 30 September, 19:00 hrs CET, live on ehfTV.com

  • Montpellier are the first Champions League winner to start the next season with two defeats since the introduction of the VELUX EHF FINAL 4 format

  • Alex Dujshebaev is having a standout start of the season, scoring 15 times in the first two games for Kielce

  • defending champions eliminated Kielce in the Last 16 phase of the competition two seasons ago with two wins

  • Montpellier lost four of their eight games this season, including a 31:28 defeat in the domestic league against Nantes on Thursday

  • The French outfit will don a new outfit on Sunday, a khaki version, that will honour their commitment for greatness and the title won last season

GROUP B
HC PPD Zagreb (CRO) - Paris Saint-Germain Handball (FRA)
Saturday, 29 september, 20:00 hrs CET, live on ehfTV.com

  • Paris are top of the group at the moment with four points, while Zagreb are not far behind with two

  • in the six encounters between the two teams, Zagreb only won once, in 2014

  • Zagreb will officially open their Champions League season at home, after playing their first game against Szeged in Osijek

  • Zagreb’s Zlatko Horvat is top of the scorers’ table at the moment, with 15 goals

  • Paris lost their first point in the French league on wednesday, only coming back from Nîmes with a draw

MOL-Pick Szeged (HUN) vs HC Motor Zaporozhye (UKR)
Sunday, 30 september, 17:00 hrs CET, live on ehfTV.com

  • the two teams haven’t met in the Champions League since 2014, and Szeged won both games back then

  • this season is the first time ever Szeged has started the Champions League group phase with two wins in a row

  • the Hungarian champions are first in the group while Zaporozhye have yet to snatch any point

HBC Nantes (FRA) vs Skjern Handbold (DEN)
Sunday, 30 september, 17:00 hrs CET, live on ehfTV.com

  • this is the re-match of last season’s quarter-final, which Nantes won on aggregate to qualify for their first Velux EHF Final4

  • last season, Nantes won by six at home (33:27) before the two teams drew in Denmark (27:27)

  • Skjern are in good form at the moment, especially offensively, as they netted 37 times against Zaporozhye last season

RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko (SLO) vs SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER)
Sunday, 30 september, 17:00 hrs CET, live on ehfTV.com

  • this is one of the classic face-offs in the Champions League, as the two teams played each other 14 times since 2003

  • the statistics say that the German side won 9 of them, 4 of them going to Celje and one game ending on a draw

  • last time Celje did not lose against Flensburg was in the Last 16 phase in 2014


TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / br
 
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