Metz hope for another successful voyage

Adrian Costeiu / Sergey Nikolaev

Metz Handball, who enjoy a perfect record away from home in the DELO EHF Champions League 2021/22, will try to extend their run on Sunday when they take on IK Sävehof in the Match of the Week in Sweden.

Group B also features two rematches of the last season’s play-off ties, as CSKA meet Krim Mercator Ljubljana and Odense Håndbold face title holders Vipers Kristiansand in a Nordic derby. Meanwhile, Györi Audi ETO KC will try to claim their seventh straight win against outsiders Kastamonu Belediyesi GSK.

In group A, another Hungarian team, FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria, look to extend their unbeaten streak on Saturday, when the fiery rivalry against CSM Bucuresti sees a new episode. On the other hand, Team Esbjerg and Rostov-Don will try to improve their win columns in away games against BV Borussia 09 Dortmund and HC Podravka Vegeta.

FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria (HUN) vs CSM Bucuresti (ROU)
Saturday 13 November, 16:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • FTC are one of just two teams still unbeaten this season, alongside fellow Hungarian side Györ. A win on Saturday would represent their best ever start of a season in the premium European competition
  • provided they do not lose against CSM, FTC will tie their longest-ever unbeaten run in the history of the DELO EHF Champions League — an eight-game streak
  • CSM have scored 168 goals this season — one more than FTC — but they are four points behind the group leaders, sitting in sixth place
  • CSM’s left back Cristina Neagu has been in superb form in the past four games, scoring 36 times to sit fourth in the top scorer standings with a 40-goal tally, 13 goals behind Dortmund centre back Alina Grijseels in first
  • the sides have met eight times in the past four seasons, with CSM taking two wins, but the last two matches hosted by FTC were clear wins for the Hungarian side — 33:23 in the 2019/20 season and 31:27 in the 2020/21 season
  • the Romanian team lost their most recent game in the domestic league last Sunday against HC Dunarea Braila. They are second in the standings, two points behind leaders Rapid Bucuresti
20210918 FTC Orlocizsuzsanna
We always play special matches against CSM — that’s what it will be. I am sure that the teams will be welcomed in an atmosphere that is unique in Europe. We want to win, but that requires very good performance.
Gabor Elek
FTC coach

HC Podravka Vegeta (CRO) vs Rostov-Don (RUS)
Saturday 13 November, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Rostov, who have conceded the lowest number of goals in the group, 142 or an average of 23.6 goals per game, face the least efficient defence in the group. Podravka have conceded 191 goals or 31.83 on average per game
  • the Croatian side have lost 13 of the last 14 games played in the premium European competition, with the one win coming in the first round of this season’s group phase, 29:22 against Buducnost
  • Podravka are fresh from their worst-ever loss in the DELO EHF Champions League, 14:38 against Dortmund two weeks ago, and will try to bounce back against Rostov
  • the sides met in the play-offs last season, with Rostov taking a commanding 71:44 aggregate win, which took their head-to-head against Podravka record to three wins in four games
  • if they secure the away victory against Podravka, Rostov will become only the 10th team in the history of the competition to hit 60 wins
20210911 Podravka Buducnost 54
We hope for the best. We are working hard to pick up our game even though injuries have made things harder. We have good chemistry and I hope we will manage to rally because only together can we achieve the best result.
Dejana Milosavljevic
Podravka back

Brest Bretagne Handball (FRA) vs Buducnost BEMAX (MNE)
Saturday 13 November, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Brest have not managed two wins in a row yet this season, with each victory in the first six rounds followed by a loss
  • if Buducnost lose, they will set a club record for the poorest start in a DELO EHF Champions League season, after conceding six losses in the first six rounds
  • no other team from the 16 that started the competition scored fewer goals than Buducnost, with the Montenegrin side putting 138 goals past their opponents — an average of 23 goals per game
  • Buducnost’s former left back, Djurdjina Jaukovic, who spent five seasons at the Montenegrin powerhouse and is now playing for Brest, will be absent due to a season-ending knee injury suffered three weeks ago
  • three of the six matches between the sides have ended in draws, with Brest taking two wins and Buducnost sealing another, all in the last two seasons. The Montenegrin side have never won an away game against Brest

BV Borussia 09 Dortmund (GER) vs Team Esbjerg (DEN)
Sunday 14 November, 14:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Dortmund have the most effective attack in the group and the second in the competition after Györ, having scored 176 goals in the first six rounds, or an average of 29.3 goals per game
  • the German side also boast the top scorer of the competition, centre back Alina Grijseels, who is coming into the clash against Esbjerg after a 15-goal outing against Podravka and leads the standings with 53 goals
  • this will be a battle between the top attack in the group and the joint-most effective defence, with Esbjerg conceding only 142 goals in the first six rounds
  • the Danish side, who have not lost in the last four games, are getting closer to their record unbeaten streak in the competition — six games, established between November 2019 and February 2020
  • Esbjerg will miss backs Estavana Polman and Line Jorgensen Myers due to injury, but key players like backs Henny Reistad and Mette Tranborg have been slowly getting back to form
20211112 Fuhr Dortmund Quote
Esbjerg, to my mind, are the strongest team in our group. And with Henny Reistad they have one of the best players in the world. I really enjoy watching Esbjerg’s matches. On a good day, we can keep up with them so we will give everything to achieve that.
André Fuhr
BV Borussia 09 Dortmund head coach
20211112 Eckerle Esbjerg Quote
Dortmund play with a lot of speed, so it is very important that we are focused on the task and are disciplined in our offence and when we return to play defence. We have to keep the errors to a minimum, so they do not run us down with their fast breaks.
Dinah Eckerle
Team Esbjerg goal keeper
20210926 Gyori CSKA 3

Györi Audi ETO KC (HUN) vs Kastamonu Belediyesi GSK (TUR)
Saturday 13 November, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Györ remain the only team with a perfect record in the competition, having won all six matches so far
  • in round 6, the Hungarian side claimed their biggest win in the current season, 41:19 against Sä Overall, they boast the most effective attack in the competition, having scored 33.8 goals per match on average
  • in contrast, Kastamonu are yet to claim their first points in their debut season at this level, as they lost all six encounters
  • Jovanka Radicevic was the Turkish team’s (joint) top scorer in four of the five games she played this season
  • the teams have never played each other in European club competitions
210206 Podravka Gyor WU
I think this team [Kastamonu] are never far from making a good result. We take them very seriously, like every rookie team. It takes a bit of time to get the pace. We cannot allow them to find it against us. We are going to play this game 200 per cent. I think it will be a real fight on the court this weekend. This team can surprise us in many different ways. We have to keep focus on ourselves and deliver a very serious game at home.
Estelle Nze Minko
Györ back

CSKA (RUS) vs Krim Mercator Ljubljana (SLO)
Sunday 14 November, 14:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • in round 6, CSKA suffered a painful home defeat against Odense, 21:28, and dropped to fifth place in the group with six points
  • Krim, who are ranked seventh in the group, have only two points, as they have lost five of their six encounters so far
  • in Nataliya Derepasko’s first game as head coach, the Slovenian team narrowly lost at home against Vipers, 26:27
  • last season, the teams met in the play-offs of the DELO EHF Champions League. Krim won the first leg at home, 25:20, before CSKA took revenge, 27:21 in Moscow, to reach the quarter-final
  • CSKA’s Slovenian back Ana Gros, who has returned after an injury, played for Krim early in her career, in 2009/10. Her teammate Sara Ristovska also spent one season in Ljubljana, in 2018/19
20210919 CSKA Gros
The game against Krim will be very important for us, since we are playing at home and we are not allowed to lose more points on our home court. We know Krim is a good team, with a lot of experienced players, and they are also chasing important points, so I expect a very tough game. But if we play as we can and give all on the court I am sure we can win this game.
Ana Gros
CSKA right back

Odense Håndbold (DEN) vs Vipers Kristiansand (NOR)
Sunday 14 November, 16:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • just like CSKA and Krim, the two Nordic teams previously met only in last season’s play-offs. Although both games were held in Denmark, Vipers won 65:62 on aggregate on their way to the title
  • Odense are ranked third in group B with eight points, while Vipers are fourth placed with six points
  • while the Danish team won all three away matches so far this season, they lost two of their three home encounters, defeating only Krim
  • in-form Nora Mørk, who has been Vipers’ top scorer in five straight matches, is second in the competition’s scoring chart with 47 goals — six behind Dortmund’s Alina Grijseels
  • Odense are 30 goals shy of reaching 1,000 goals scored in the DELO EHF Champions League

MOTW: IK Sävehof (SWE) vs Metz Handball (FRA)
Sunday 14 November, 16:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Metz are in second position in group B with eight points and a game in hand, while Sävehof are ranked sixth with four points
  • the Swedish team won two of their three home matches, beating outsiders Krim and Kastamonu. Metz enjoy a perfect record in away encounters, having won all three of them
  • with 42 goals, Sävehof’s Jamina Roberts is ranked third in the competition’s scoring chart. No Metz players are among top 10 in that list, and captain Meline Nocandy is their top scorer with 30 goals
  • it will be Metz’s 147th match in Europe’s top flight. They will pass SCM Ramnicu Valcea, who have 146 games under their belt, in the all-time ranking
  • Sävehof and Metz met four times in the DELO EHF Champions League, exchanging victories in 2013/14 and 2014/15 seasons
  • on Wednesday, Metz maintained their perfect record in the French league, defeating fellow Champions League team Brest 31:24
20210912 Savehof Krim Gallery WCL2
We have a big challenge ahead of us, as Metz have the potential to reach the DELO EHF FINAL4. They have plenty of individually good players representing national teams and we’ll try to exploit their weaknesses. It's important for us to keep up with Metz for as long as possible and hopefully be able to challenge them during the final 10–15 minutes of the game. We know that when you face an underdog, it can be difficult if it isn’t decided after 45 minutes because then it often comes down to the small details.
Rasmus Overby
Sävehof coach

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