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EHF Champions League

Four teams look to extend winning streaks

Kevin Domas / Björn Pazen

MOL-Pick Szeged will have the chance to fight for their first victory of the season in the EHF Champions League Men Match of the Week for round 4, although it will be a tough ask as they must do so in Porto’s arena.

This round, also headlined by the clash between Kielce and Meshkov Brest on Wednesday, might see a significant overhaul in the group A standings. Flensburg will be looking to keep their record untouched in a tough away game in Skopje. PSG will have a different goal: to take their first points of the season at home against Elverum.

In group B, three teams – Telekom Veszprém, Barça and Aalborg Håndbold – have the maximum of six points after three rounds, while another trio – Celje, Zagreb and Motor – still wait for their first.

In round 4, new Zagreb coach Vlado Sola will have his debut in Barça’s Palau Blaugrana, while Aalborg dream of continuing their best ever start in the EHF Champions League. Two Celje-born players in the Veszprém squad will face their former team on Wednesday.

The match THW Kiel vs HC Motor has been postponed.

Lomza Vive Kielce (POL) vs HC Meshkov Brest (BLR)
Wednesday 14 October, 18:45 CEST, live on EHFTV.com

  • across 10 confrontations between the teams, Kielce only lost one, back in 2017
  • two Meshkov Brest players feature in the Champions League 2020/21’s top five scorers: Marko Panic (21) and Mikita Vailupau (17)
  • the teams share the exact same record after three rounds: they have each won twice and lost once and thereby count four points
  • Kielce’s Haukur Thrastarson suffered a knee injury in the last round against Elverum and will be out for the rest of the season

MOTW: FC Porto (POR) vs MOL-Pick Szeged (HUN)
Thursday 15 October, 20:45 CEST, live on EHFTV.com

  • while Porto have already played three games and won one, Szeged have only played one, which they lost to Kielce
  • the Hungarian team are, at the moment, one of the two sides that remain without points in group A
  • since their last Champions League game, Porto won their three clashes in the Portuguese league
  • this game will be the first official clash between the two sides

HC Vardar 1961 (MKD) vs SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER)
Thursday 15 October, 20:45 CEST, live on EHFTV.com

  • Flensburg are currently on top of group A and are the only side to have won their first three games in the competition
  • in fact, SG have only lost one game this season: the German Supercup final against THW Kiel
  • the two teams have played each other in the Champions League four times. Flensburg only won once, in the first leg of the 2013/14 season quarter-finals
  • Vardar have not crossed paths with Flensburg since 2017. That year, they beat the German side on their way to their first Champions League title
  • Flensburg’s Lasse Moller hurt his left hand last week and should be out for the next few months

Paris Saint-Germain Handball (FRA) vs Elverum Handball (NOR)
Thursday 15 October, 20:45 CEST, live on EHFTV.com

  • after leaving PSG this summer, this will be the first time French right wing Luc Abalo will play against his former club
  • the two teams played each other last season, with the French side taking both confrontations, 25:22 and 31:25
  • for the first time in history, Paris lost their first two games in the Champions League and remain without points. However, they are undefeated in the French league
  • Elverum suffered their second defeat of the season this weekend, to Haslum in the Norwegian league

Telekom Veszprém HC (HUN) vs RK Celje Pivovarna Laško (SLO)
Wednesday 14 October, 18:45 CEST, live on EHFTV.com

  • in 14 EHF Champions League matches, Celje beat Veszprém only once, in 2007
  • Celje currently have the weakest defence, with 108 goals conceded, while Veszprém can count on the second most efficient attack of the competition, having scored 102 goals
  • Veszprém‘ two Slovenians, Blaz Blagotinsek and Gasper Marguc, were born in Celje and previously played for the club
  • if Veszprém win, it would be their best start to the season since 2017, when they won their first four group matches

Aalborg Håndbold (DEN) vs HBC Nantes (FRA)
Wednesday 14 October, 18:45 CEST, live on EHFTV.com

  • if Aalborg win, they would have gained their best start ever in their EHF Champions League history, after also taking three victories in the first three matches of the 2019/20 season
  • it is the first ever duel in an official match between these sides
  • including last season, Aalborg have won five of their last eight home Champions League matches
  • the current second and third top scorers of the EHF Champions League battle in this match: Valero Rivera (Nantes/18 goals) and Magnus Jensen (Aalborg/17)
  • Nantes took their only two points in their one away match so far, thanks to a surprising 35:27 win in Kiel
  • Nantes goalkeeper Emil Nielsen will touch home ground with the visit to Denmark

Barça (ESP) vs HC PPD Zagreb (CRO)
Wednesday 14 October, 20:45 CEST, live on EHFTV.com

  • Igor Vori was replaced after three EHF Champions League defeats, with Vlado Sola taking over at Zagreb. This will be his first ever EHF Champions League match as a coach
  • Barça and Zagreb clashed in the EHF Champions League 23 times and the record Croatian champions won only once – funnily enough, the victory was in Barcelona; a 30:29 result in 2012. Since then, five of eight matches ended with a difference of 10 goals or more
  • Barça are unbeaten on home ground for 36 matches and have won 20 home matches in a row
  • Barça’s only Croatian, centre back Luka Cindric, never played for Zagreb – unlike most current Croatian stars
  • two Barça players – Aleix Gomez and Dika Mem – have already scored 16 goals in the season, sitting joint sixth on the overall scoring chart
  • in three group matches so far, Barça scored 35 goals more than Zagreb (107:72)

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