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EHF Champions League

First-time encounters and old rivalries renewed in round 3

Kevin Domas / Björn Pazen

In round 3 of the EHF Champions League, the top teams in each group face different challenges: While Flensburg have their home match against Porto ahead, Barça will visit last week’s surprise team, Nantes, in the Match of the Week.

In group A, Flensburg are the leaders and would like to remain so by winning their third game in a row, against Porto. Combining with last season, the German team have the opportunity to add a seventh consecutive victory to their series.

Down the table, this week will be the chance for PSG to finally take their first points and get their machine going.

In group B, four former Barça players in Nantes’ squad are eager to defeat their previous teammates. Aalborg and Veszprém also have to withstand away matches, while Kiel want to strike back at Celje.

HC Meshkov Brest (BLR) vs Paris Saint-Germain HB (FRA)
Wednesday 30 September, 18:45 CET, live on EHFTV.com

  • both teams lost last week, as Meshkov Brest were defeated in Porto while PSG were eclipsed at home by a determined Flensburg
  • PSG put themselves back on the right track this weekend, beating Brest 34:31 in the French league
  • Brest also won this weekend, 43:27 against Rguor Sbornaya
  • Meshkov are one of the few teams to have beaten Paris in the last seasons. In the Champions League 2017/18 group phase, they took the two points at home with a 29:28 win
  • Marko Panic (Meshkov Brest) is currently second in the top scorer ranking with 15 goals; just one less than Aleix Gomez (Barça)

SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER) vs FC Porto (POR)
Wednesday 30 September, 20:45 CEST, live on EHFTV.com

  • the two clubs have never met in European cup competitions
  • Flensburg are currently top of the table with two wins, against Kielce and Paris Saint-Germain. Porto opened their record last week at home against Meshkov Brest
  • Flensburg lost the German Super Cup final to THW Kiel (24:28) over the past weekend
  • Hampus Wanne (Flensburg) is the Champions League’s fourth top scorer with 13 goals, while Antonio Areia is joint 11th with 10 goals scored

Elverum Handball (NOR) vs Lomza Vive Kielce (POL)
Thursday 1 October, 20:45 CEST, live on EHFTV.com

  • both team’s top scorers netted 10 times in the first games of the Champions League 2020/21: Alexander Blonz (Elverum – 10 goals vs Porto) and Alex Dujshebaev (Kielce – two goals vs Flensburg; eight vs Szeged)
  • Elverum and Kielce have never played against each other in European competitions
  • Elverum did not play their game last week against Vardar, while Kielce opened their record with a home win against Szeged
  • this will be the first occasion for Sigvaldi Gudjonsson, who transferred from Elverum to Kielce last summer, to play against his former team

HC Motor (UKR) vs Telekom Veszprém HC (HUN)
Wednesday 30 September, 18:45 CEST, live on EHFTV.com

  • Veszprém have won both group matches (at Nantes and at home against Zagreb), with the latest being their 200th victory in EHF Champions League history
  • Motor have only won one (in 2014) of six duels against Veszprém so far. Three times, Veszprém have scored more than 40 goals against the Ukrainian side
  • in their domestic league, Veszprém have won all five matches so far. Last weekend, they beat Oroszhazi 37:20
  • Motor top the table in the Ukrainian Superleague, with four points from two matches
  • Motor’s Aidenas Malasinskas is currently the fifth top scorer of the EHF Champions League

HC PPD Zagreb (CRO) vs Aalborg Håndbold (DEN)
Wednesday 23 September, 20:45 CEST, live on EHFTV.com

  • Aalborg are the surprise team of 2020/21 so far, with four points from the first two matches, having beaten Celje and Motor
  • Zagreb still wait for their first point after defeats to Kiel and at Veszprém
  • the sides have only clashed twice before, with each team winning their home match in the 2019/20 group phase
  • Aalborg have a clean record of five victories in the Danish league, including a 31:24 result at Sonderjyske last weekend
  • Aalborg’s Magnus Jensen (11) and Jonas Samuelsson (12) both scored more than 10 goals in the first two matches
  • Zagreb have only scored 46 goals so far, less than all other teams to have already played two matches

RK Celje Pivovarna Laško (SLO) vs THW Kiel (GER)
Thursday 1 October, 20:45 CEST, live on EHFTV.com

  • the teams are meeting for the 11th time in this competition. Kiel have won six duels, Celje three. Celje’s last home victory against THW dates back to 2012
  • Celje have lost both previous group matches (against Aalborg and at Barça), while Kiel started victorious at Zagreb before being surprisingly defeated on home ground by Nantes, 27:35
  • the clash is a homecoming for THW’s Slovenian centre back Miha Zarabec, who played for Celje from 2014 to 2017
  • Celje are on top of the Slovenian league after four wins from four matches. Kiel will start their Bundesliga campaign next weekend, but have already won the Super Cup, beating Flensburg 28:24 in the final
  • THW still have to replace IHF World Player Niklas Landin and left back Nikola Bilyk after surgeries. They have just extended the contract of coach Filip Jicha until 2023

MOTW: HBC Nantes (FRA) vs Barça (ESP)
Thursday 1 October, 20:45 CEST, live on EHFTV.com

  • Barça are on top of the group ranking thanks to two victories and by far the highest number of goals (72); Nantes are on two points
  • Nantes took enormous confidence from their clear 35:27 at Kiel in round 2, when Valero Rivera shone with 10 goals
  • The two Entrerrios brothers will duel: Alberto as Nantes coach and Raul as Barça playmaker. As players, they met in the 2011 Champions League final Barcelona vs Ciudad Real, won by Barça (and Raul)
  • HBC players Kiril Lazarov, Eduardo Gurbindo, Valero Rivera and David Balaguer will face their former club. On the other hand, four French players are in Barça’s squad: Ludovic Fabregas, Dika Mem, Timothey N’Guessan and Cedric Sorhaindo
  • Barça have won three of the four previous duels, including both quarter-final matches in the 2018/19 season
  • in the ASOBAL league, Barça have won all four matches so far. Nantes beat Ivry 30:24 in their opener of Lidl Star Ligue
  • Aleix Gomez is the current top scorer of the Champions League 2020/21, with 16 goals

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