Double Danish delight headlines round 2
Tuesday evenings will never be the same again as the European League Men settles into its new slot with a series of matches you do not want to miss from qualification round 2.
Two of the biggest first leg encounters will take place within just 50 kilometres and at the same time, 18:45 CEST, as two of Denmark’s top clubs face big clubs in the fight for a spot in the group phase.
2019 EHF Cup Finals participants TTH Holstebro take on 2013 EHF Cup winners Rhein-Neckar Löwen and hope they will be able to catch the German club off-guard.
While Holstebro have already played five competitive league and cup fixtures, this will be Löwen’s first match with something on the line in over six months and their hosts will ensure they are given no time to ease their way in on Tuesday.
2018 EHF Champions League winners Montpellier are back in Europe’s second tier for the first time since they reached the final in 2014.
The French club’s bid to emulate that achievement begins with a rock-hard test away to Skjern, who were made to sweat in their two-goal aggregate win over Malmö in round 1. Skjern have not enjoyed the brightest of starts to their season, losing two of their four league matches, but much like Holstebro will hope that their greater exposure to competitive action will give them the advantage over their star-studded opponents.
Sizzling Spanish clashes
Following their stunning victory over Benfica in round 1, Austrian club Fivers have been rewarded with a trip to Benidorm.
No, it is not an early-season holiday, but a deadly serious round 2 assignment against BM Benidorm, who will be making their European debut but do not want for international experience as they signed the likes of Ivan Nikcevic and Emil Feuchtmann over the summer.
Further north in Spain, Bidasoa Irun have yet again been given one of the toughest tests in their bid to reach the group phase. This time, the 1995 EHF Champions League winners must overcome RK Nexe, who are well-versed in Europe’s second tier and reached the EHF Cup quarter-final in 2018.
AHC Potaissa Turda and HC Dobrogea Sud Constanta have home advantage in Romania for the first leg as they will try to upset more fancied opposition.
2018 Challenge Cup winners Turda welcome Fenix Toulouse from France, who will be desperate to make an impact in the competition having not won a tie in Europe since 1998.
Constanta will need to display the impressive defensive qualities shown against HC Victor in round 1 and much more, if they are to overcome Sporting CP.
Having impressed in the top flight in recent years, Sporting will be expected to go a long way in this competition but will need to be on their guard on Tuesday evening.
One round 2 match will not take place due to a postive Covid-19 test in the delegation of one of the teams concerned, Balatonfüredi KSE. The Hungarian side's tie with RK Trimo Trebnje will therefore be decided in one match, the second leg, scheduled to take place on September 29 in Slovenia. The first-leg clash is cancelled.
Following the action
A number of Tuesday’s European League matches will be streamed live on EHFTV.
Fans can also keep an eye on what is happening throughout the evening with the European League Men Live Blog, full of insights, updates and highlights.
European League Men, qualification round 2, leg 1:
HC Dobrogea Sud Constanta vs Sporting CP, live on EHFTV.com
HEDO-B. Braun Gyöngyös vs Füchse Berlin, live on EHFTV.com
TTH Holstebro vs Rhein-Neckar Löwen, live on EHFTV.com
Bjerringbro-Silkeborg vs HC CSKA, live on EHFTV.com
GOG Vs Pfadi Winterthur
KS Azoty-Pulawy SA vs IFK Kristianstad
Skjern Handbold vs Montpellier HB