ROUND PREVIEW: A lot of prominent teams, several of which with a previous history in the EHF Champions League are chasing the 16 places in the second edition of the EHF Cup Group Phase, when the final qualification round starts Wednesday.
Big names chase group phase
For the second time in succession – and for the second time in history - does the men's EHF Cup contain a group phase, from which the quarter-finalists of the competition will be found. This week and the next, the 16 participants will be found in the third and last qualification round.
Two teams with more or less happy Champions League memories will be opening the final qualification ball Wednesday night, when Füchse Berlin – VELUX EHF FINAL4 participants from 2012 – welcome HC Meshkov Brest from Belarus in the Max Schmeling Halle.
“Brest have been reinforced very well internationally, and with David Spiler they have an extremely prominent playmaker, whom we played against last season, when he was playing for Zagreb,” Füchse coach Dagur Sigurdsson told the German club's website.
Instead, the Norwegian side will be trying to book another EHF Cup Group Phase ticket, when they face exactly Nantes in the final qualification round. The first leg will be played in the Palais des Sport de Beaulieu of Nantes Sunday in the late afternoon.
This time, the team under Swedish national coach Ola Lindgren will have to overcome Romanian Stiinta Municipal Dedeman Bacau, and the Swedes will probably not be missing support from the standings, as there is almost always guarantee for a lot of spectators and a great atmosphere in the Kristianstad Arena.
In the Danish league, Skjern Handbold has been the only team who has been able to keep up with KIF Kolding Kobenhavn this season so far. In the early afternoon Saturday, they will be starting their hunt for similar success in the EHF Cup, when they take on the Serbian champions RK Vojvodina in the Hell of the West – the Skjern Bank Arena.
Find the complete overview of the Round 3 matches here
TEXT: Peter Bruun / br
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