Six ties hang in the balance ahead of second-leg showdowns
Given the circumstances, we could not have asked for a better start to the EHF European League Men, with six of the first-leg matches going right down to the wire and leaving us with a series of cliff hangers.
The story arc of these matches will be fully fleshed out this weekend, as will three more one-sided affairs and two one-off encounters.
There are six more matches coming your way on EHFTV.com this weekend, and three of them are too close to call.
Beginning with the one-off encounters and a very tasty match between last season’s EHF Champions League participants Bidasoa Irun and the ambitious French club PAUC Handball, here is our look at what lies ahead.
Julian Aguinagalde will play his first European cup game for his hometown club, whom he has re-joined this summer after making himself a legend for Kielce.
The other one-legged clash, between Pfadi Winterthur and Handball Esch, will not be played in Switzerland nor Luxembourg, but in Kassel, as part of a double header together with the second leg between MT Melsungen and Bjerringbro-Silkeborg. The standoff between the German and Danish sides should be a cracking game based on the 31:27 win for Bjerringbro last weekend.
The only drawn game last week was between Russia’s CSKA and Belarus’ SKA Minsk, ending 25:25. The two sides will lock horns again on Sunday at 18:00 CEST for a tasty cross-border clash to get Sunday started.
All four matches will be streamed live on EHFTV.com on Sunday.
A late comeback from Fivers against Benfica gave the Austrian side serious hope ahead of the second leg in Vienna on Saturday at 20:20 CEST.
Saturday's action on EHFTV.com begins with RK Trimo Trebnje facing Club Futebol Os Belenenses. The Slovenian side, coached by Uros Zorman, won the first leg by five goals and are in a strong position to progress.
A live blog for the EHF European League was launched at the summer’s draw event and will continue throughout the campaign, run by Brian Campion and Chris O’Reilly, full of updates and analysis of the top matches as well as a rounded view of what the handball world is saying about the action.
Follow the blog on eurohandball.com throughout the weekend, beginning on Friday evening.
Full EHFTV schedule
Saturday 5 September
19:00 CEST: RK Trimo Trebnje vs Club Futebol Os Belenenses
20:20 CEST: Fivers vs SL Benfica
Sunday 6 September
12:00 CEST: HC CSKA vs SKA Minsk
12:30 CEST: Handball Esch vs Pfadi Winterthur
16:00 CEST: MT Melsungen vs Bjerringbro-Silkeborg
21:00 CEST: Bidasoa Irun vs PAUC Handball