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EHF Champions League

Duel for group B top spot headlines final round

EHF / Adrian Costeiu, Sergey Nikolaev

The focus of this weekend in the DELO EHF Champions league will be on the mouth-watering clash in Hungary, where Györi Audi ETO KC and CSKA will fight for the top position in group B on Saturday. Ahead of the exciting clash, both sides boast impressive records.

Elsewhere, Buducnost and HC Podravka Vegeta will play a Balkan derby in Podgorica, while SCM Ramnicu Valcea and BV Borussia 09 Dortmund, who have shown signs of improvement lately, will both try to snatch points at home against Brest Bretagne Handball and Odense Håndbold respectively.

Provided they do not lose against FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria, Rostov-Don will seal first place in group A. But when second-placed Metz Handball and third-placed CSM Bucuresti meet in France, the possibility of a Rostov slip-up is a reason for both teams to keep an eye on Per Johansson’s side.

Ahead of this weekend's final round, two play-off pairings are set in stone. Vipers Kristiansand vs Odense Håndbold and Team Esbjerg vs Brest Bretagne Handball

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GROUP A
Metz Handball (FRA) vs CSM Bucuresti (ROU)
Saturday 13 February, 16:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Metz are currently second in the standings, one point ahead of CSM; therefore the Romanian side must win to leapfrog the French side
  • Romanian left back Cristina Neagu is CSM’s top scorer, with 68 goals this season, jumping to sixth place on the all-time goalscorer list, with 753 goals
  • Metz lost their first home game in four years in the DELO EHF Champions League two weeks ago, 29:28, against Vipers Kristiansand
  • the Romanian side have won three of the seven mutual games; however, Metz have won all three games played in France

Rostov-Don (RUS) vs FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria (HUN)
Saturday 13 February, 16:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • in first place, Rostov are one point clear of Metz, whom they hold the tiebreaker against, and they will seal first place if they do not lose against FTC
  • the Russian side have won nine games in the DELO EHF Champions League this season
  • right back Katrin Klujber, who is the fourth top goalscorer, and right wing Angela Malestein combined have netted 120 goals for FTC this season
  • Rostov have won nine of the 11 mutual games between the two sides, including the last seven games

Vipers Kristiansand (NOR) vs RK Krim Mercator (SLO)
Saturday 13 February, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Krim are set to finish seventh in group A and will meet either CSKA or Györ in the next round of the competition, while Vipers will stay fifth and face Odense 
  • Vipers are currently on a three-game losing streak – conceding two games against FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria and one against Rostov-Don between Saturday and Wednesday
  • Krim’s 19th goal against Vipers will be their 7,000th in EHF Champions League history. Only Buducnost have previously hit that mark
  • Norwegian right back Nora Mørk went off in the final minutes of the game against Rostov-Don with an apparent injury and could miss the game against Krim
  • fellow right back Silje Waade also suffered a serious knee injury last week and will not take part in the game
  • Vipers have won four of the five games played against Krim, including a 27:26 win in round 1 of the group phase this season

Team Esbjerg (DEN) vs SG BBM Bietigheim (GER)
Sunday 14 February, 14:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Esbjerg have secured sixth place in the group and will meet Brest Bretagne in the Last 16, while Bietigheim will finish eighth and face CSKA or Györ
  • Bietigheim have won only two away matches in the DELO EHF Champions League, one of which came this season, 35:24, against FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria
  • the Danish side need only six more goals to become the the 27th team in history to reach the 1000-goal mark in Europe's premier competition
  • Esbjerg have won all three games played between the two sides in European Cup competitions
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GROUP B
MOTW: Györi Audi ETO KC (HUN) vs CSKA (RUS)
Saturday 13 February, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • in a dramatic reverse fixture in round 1, which was their first ever meeting, the teams split the points, 27:27
  • DELO EHF Champions League debutants CSKA hold first place in group B with 23 points, one more than titleholders Györ
  • the Hungarian side need a victory to finish top of the group, while a draw will be enough for CSKA
  • Györ boast a 50-match unbeaten run in the continental top flight, starting from January 2018, while CSKA enjoy a perfect record in the competition in 2021, with six wins from six games
  • both teams won matches in their domestic leagues on Wednesday, as Györ defeated MTK Budapest 40:23, while CSKA beat HC Zvezda 31:25

Buducnost (MNE) vs HC Podravka Vegeta (CRO)
Saturday 13 February, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • the two Balkan teams have met five times in European club competitions
  • Buducnost have earned three victories, while Podravka have won two matches, including the reverse fixture in September, 29:26
  • the Croatian team have four points and are certain to finish last in the group; fifth-placed Buducnost have 10 points
  • in their last two games, the Montenegrin side lost against the top two teams in the group: at home against Györ (26:21) and then at CSKA (27:23)
  • Podravka’s Dejana Milosavljevic is second in the competition’s scoring chart with a tally of 69 goals

BV Borussia 09 Dortmund (GER) vs Odense Håndbold (DEN)
Sunday 14 February, 16:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Dortmund, who are playing in their debut season in the competition, are ranked seventh in the group with seven points
  • the German team claimed three points in their two most recent games: a win against Podravka (32:31) and a draw at Brest (33:33)
  • Odense, who are certain to finish fourth in the group, lost two straight games, against Buducnost and Valcea
  • in the reverse fixture, which was the first meeting between the two clubs in European competition, Odense celebrated a 32:27 home victory

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