PREVIEW: Last season, Metz and Viborg were main round rivals in the Women’s EHF Champions League. Now they meet in the Cup Winners’ Cup
Former Champions League rivals meet
Last season, Metz Handball and Viborg HK were in the same main round group in the Women’s EHF Champions League.
The French and the Danish team were actually in a direct duel for a quarter-final berth, which Viborg took at the end.
These coming two weekends, Metz get the chance to take revenge, as the two teams meet in Round 3 of the Cup Winners’ Cup.
The Palais Omnisports Les Arenes in Metz will be the venue of the first leg Saturday evening.
“It will be an extremely difficult task for us.
“I have seen Metz’s three latest matches in video, and they are really good, so we will have to make two perfect performances to have a chance to go on to the next round,” Viborg coach Allan Heine tells eurohandball.com.
Last season, Team Tvis Holstebro won the EHF Cup, just like they did in the 2012/13 season.
This season, the Danish club is chasing success in the Cup Winner´s Cup, where they will have to try and overcome WHC Metalurg as their first hurdle.
The Macedonian team, who visit the Graakjaer Arena of Holstebro for a double header this Saturday and Sunday, also reached Round 3 of the tournament last season.
Saturday evening, Rakkestadhallen in Rakkestad, Norway, will be the venue of an all Norwegian derby, as Halden Damer Elite take on Vipers Kristiansand.
To Halden, the first leg of this tie against their fellow countrywomen will be their very first European game, while Kristiansand appear on the European stage for the first time in 11 years.
Team Esbjerg failed to qualify for the Champions League group matches this season, and now last season’s runners-up in Denmark enter the competition with Ardesen GSK from Turkey the opposition.
“It surprised me a lot, that Ardesen were able to send one of the Swedish top teams, Skuru, out in the previous round.
“It is definitely a team we should have respect for, and I am sure that a substantial win at home will be crucial, as I am sin no doubt that we will be under a lot of pressure in Turkey,” says Esbjerg coach Lars Frederiksen ahead of the first leg in Esbjerg on Sunday afternoon.
“We are definitely not favourites.”
That is the frank comment from Dirk Leun, head coach by Buxtehuder SV to the club´s website ahead of his team´s meeting with Issy Paris Hand.
On the other hand, Leun does not rule out the chance of a surprise before the first match in the Schulzentrum Hansestrasse in Buxtehude Sunday afternoon.
The return match is in Paris next Sunday.
A full overview of Round 3 can be found here.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / cor
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