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EHF Champions League

Danish-Russian duels highlight round 8

EHF / Adrian Costeiu, Sergey Nikolaev

Going into this weekend’s round 8, the two groups in the DELO EHF Champions League have a Russian team in second place.

Both Rostov-Don in group A and CSKA in group B are trailing the respective leaders - CSM and Györ - by one point but have a match in hand.

Rostov (visiting Team Esbjerg in the Match of the Week) and CSKA (travelling to Odense Håndbold) have away games in Denmark coming up.

In group A, Rostov and CSM are looking to extend their winning runs before they clash in round 9 next week, while FTC eye to avenge last week’s painful loss against Bietigheim.

In group B, a sixth straight victory for CSKA would see the Russian side reclaim the lead, while Brest aim to stay in touch with the top-two teams.


CSM Bucuresti (ROU) vs RK Krim Mercator (SLO)
Saturday 14 November, 16:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • CSM won at Krim last week (25:23) for their fifth win in six games this season
  • with another win, CSM would tie the club’s record five-match winning streak in the CL from the 2015/16 and 2017/18 seasons
  • Krim have lost three of the last four games and are ranked seventh
  • five CSM players – Jelena Grubisic, Carmen Martin, Elizabeth Omoregie, Barbara Lazovic and Dragana Cvijic – played for Krim in the past decade
  • CSM started a CL season once before with six wins from seven matches – in 2017/18, when they also reached the EHF FINAL4

SG BBM Bietigheim (GER) vs FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria (HUN)
Sunday 15 November, 14:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • last week’s 35:24 on FTC’s court was Bietigheim’s first win of the season, and their biggest ever win in the CL
  • FTC top scorer Angela Malestein (23 goals) will face her former teammates, having played for Bietigheim for six years
  • Bietigheim have the worst defensive record in the group (31.1 goals per game), FTC are scoring at the slowest pace (24.8 goals per game)
  • both teams won in their domestic leagues on Wednesday: Bietigheim beat Bensheim 32:29, FTC defeated Kisvarda 38:26
  • FTC are looking for their 90th win the CL; only five teams have won more matches – Györ, Buducnost, Hypo, Krim and Larvik

MOTW: Team Esbjerg (DEN) vs Rostov-Don (RUS)
Sunday 15 November, 14:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Rostov are one of four unbeaten teams this season, alongside Vipers as well as Györ and CSKA in the other group
  • Rostov are ranked second, one point behind CSM but with a game in hand
  • since having his visa issues sorted and joining the team, Swedish coach Per Johansson, who turned 50 Tuesday, has won all six games, three in the CL and three in the Russian League
  • hit by a string of injuries, Esbjerg are on their longest winless run (five games) and would tie their longest losing run (three) if they lose to Rostov
  • however, Esbjerg are reinforced by midweek signing Nerea Pena, who arrived from Siófok KC and will be eligible to play


HC Podravka Vegeta (CRO) vs Brest Bretagne Handball (FRA)
Saturday 14 November, 16:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Podravka are on a three-game losing streak
  • Brest have eight points after six matches and are ranked third
  • Brest's Ana Gros tops the CL scorers list with 48 goals, 12 ahead of Julia Maidhof from Bietigheim
  • Brest extended their perfect record in the domestic league, comfortably defeating Toulon Saint-Cyr on Wednesday (36:20)
  • Podravka celebrated an even bigger win in the Croatian league, 41:14 against ZRK Zrinski
  • the two teams have not met before in a European club competition

Buducnost (MNE) vs SCM Ramnicu Valcea (ROU)
Saturday 14 November, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • following three straight defeats early in the competition, Buducnost improved and are now on three points from five games
  • Valcea are the only team in the competition without points so far
  • Valcea’s Marta Batinovic, Zeljka Nikolic and Jelena Trifunovic all had spells at Buducnost in the past, while Buducnost’s Allison Pineau spent the 2012/13 season at Valcea
  • the two sides met 12 times in European club competitions, with Buducnost winning seven games and Valcea five
  • both teams also met in last season’s group matches, with Buducnost winning both times, 23:19 and 21:20

Odense Håndbold (DEN) vs CSKA (RUS)
Sunday 15 November, 16:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • in the reverse fixture last Sunday, CSKA claimed their fifth straight win (27:23)
  • CSKA remain unbeaten and are ranked second with 11 points, but will leapfrog group leaders Györ with a win Sunday
  • Odense lost two matches in a row and have dropped to the fourth position
  • CSKA top scorer Elena Mikhaylichenko will be out for six to seven months following surgery on her torn ACL
  • on Tuesday, CSKA clearly beat HC Zvezda 37:27 in the Russian league

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