Three teams eye early quarter-final ticket

EHF / Danijela Vekić, Ida Hummeluhr

After a one-week break, the EHF European League Women group phase returns with round 4, which consists of the reverse fixtures from the previous round. Thüringer HC, Sola HK and Ikast Håndbold, the three unbeaten teams so far, have a chance to book an early quarter-final ticket if they win their respective clashes. While other spots are still open, HC Podravka Vegeta and Fana will try to claim their first win of the season to stay in the race for the knock-out phase.


BV Borussia 09 Dortmund (GER) vs ES Besancon Feminin (FRA)
Sunday 5 February, 14:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • BV Borussia 09 Dortmund defeated Besancon by 30:27 after a seven-goal outing by Meret Ossenkopp
  • if Besancon win, they will keep their group leader status with two rounds to go; Dortmund have a chance to move at least one place up with a win
  • the French side is the third most effective attack of the competition netting 98 goals in three matches for an average of 32.6 goals per game
  • Besancon right back Natalia Nosek: "Borussia, of course, are a really good team, they have good players who already got some experience in this kind of international competitions. The goal for this game is to start better than last time and look for other solutions."
  • Dortmund's Yara Ten Holte with 30 saves (33.3 per cent efficiency) is the third-best goalkeeper of the competition
  • the German side won at home against Leverkusen (35:27) while Besancon had a draw against Nantes in domestic league play
  • Dortmund coach Henk Groener: "We surprised Besançon a little bit in the first game, the first 15 minutes were almost perfect. We can take a lot of confidence from the first match, although we will need another great performance to win the game."

Molde Elite (NOR) vs Siófok KC (HUN)
Sunday 5 February, 16:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Molde must win to keep any quarter-final hopes alive after a three-game losing streak
  • after an opening defeat, Siófok got back on track and have two consecutive wins against Dortmund and Molde (30:22, two weeks ago)
  • Siófok are the second-best defence in the competition with only 76 goals conceded
  • Molde head coach Tor Odvar Moen: "There is one last chance to stay in the race in this group and that is by winning on Sunday. We will definitely grab that chance. We need some points on the board."
  • the youngest Obaidli sister, Mona, is Molde’s leading scorer and the competition’s third best scorer with 24 goals
  • Molde lost 30:23 to group C leaders Sola in their domestic competition; Siófok suffered a surprising defeat by Békéscsaba Elöre


Neptunes de Nantes (FRA) vs Fana (NOR)
Sunday 5 February, 14:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Nantes want to bounce back from the surprising 30:28 defeat against Fana two weeks ago
  • Fana celebrated their first win of the competition against Nantes and stayed in contention for the quarter-finals in their debut European League season
  • Aurora Kjellevold Hatle and Nathalie Hagman were the two side’s top scorers both in the competition and their last encounter
  • Nantes suffered a 30:23 defeat against Metz in the quarter-finals of the French cup; Fana lost to EHF Champions League titleholders Vipers Kristiansand in their domestic championship
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Last match we got our first win in the EHF Europa League. It has given us the taste for more. Now we`re up against Nantes again. We`re not going there to defend anything, but chasing new points.
Erlend Lyssand
Coach, Fana

Ikast Håndbold (DEN) vs Motherson Mosonmagyaróvári KC (HUN)
Sunday 5 February, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Ikast have a chance to secure their third consecutive quarter-final spot if they beat Mosonmagyaróvár
  • Ikast are one of the three unbeaten teams after three rounds: in three seasons, Ikast lost only one group phase match – against Paris 92 in January 2021
  • Ikast’s left side is their strongest: left wing Emma Friis and left back Ingvild Bakkerud are the team’s top scorers
  • Ikast goalkeeper Jessica Ryde: "We have done well so far and are looking forward to the last matches of the group stage. I would like to credit my defence and my experiences from both our European matches and the national team for my good save percentage."
  • Respect Your Talent participant Barbora Lancz keeps on giving from the right back position, leading the way in the Hungarian squad with 18 goals
  • Ikast snatched a 34:33 win against Nykøbing in the Danish championship while Mosonmagyaróvár suffered a 28:21 defeat by Györ in Hungary
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Our team has to focus on our own gameplay and we have to manage our defence on the level of the international elite teams, thus we can’t afford technical faults and we have to make good decisions, even at high-paced gameplay. It is not an easy task to do, but we can’t improve ourselves to a next level until we are able to master that.
János Gyurka
Coach, Motherson-Mosonmagyaróvári


DVSC Schaeffler (HUN) vs Sola HK (NOR)
Saturday 4 February, 20:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Sola won all group matches last season and could still repeat the feat this season; a win against DVSC would secure their quarter-final spot
  • DVSC can overtake Sola on top of the group standings with a win Saturday
  • Sola won the home game in round 3 by 30:25, also thanks to Rinka Duijndam’s outstanding performance between the posts (18 saves)
  • DVSC left back Gréta Kácsor, junior world and European champion, is the team’s top scorer with 15 goals
  • DVSC beat Kisvárda at home by 22:19, while the Norwegian side defeated Molde Elite by 30:23
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There are 3 rounds left from the group phase and we know that every match is very important. At home, we have no other goal, but victory!
Alexandra Töpfner
20230202 ELW Preview Round 4 Sola
I think it will be an even game where the team with best focus and ready from start, takes the win. We've got to focus on our defence and get to play fast handball, but make the right assessments along the way. It's a good team we will face at their home arena and it's important that we have quality in what we are going to do in the game.
Lene Kristiansen Tveiten
Back, Sola HK

HC Podravka Vegeta (CRO) vs Nykøbing Falster Håndbold (DEN)
Sunday 5 February, 14:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Podravka had three consecutive defeats and will be out of the quarter-final race if they lose against Nykøbing
  • Nykøbing had two defeats at the start of the group phase before beating Podravka 28:23
  • Podravka have scored the lowest number of goals: 72 (or 24 goals per game); the Danish side is on 27 goals per game
  • left wing Elma Halilcevic is Nykøbing’s top scorer with 12 goals
  • the Danish side had a one-goal defeat against Ikast in the domestic competition and Podravka Vegeta won against Sesvete Agroproteinka 32:17
20230202 ELW Preview Round 4 Podravka
We are focused and have a consistently good atmosphere. We are all focused on these training sessions that we have left and preparing for Sunday and the goal is of course to fix the mistakes we made there. I believe that we are all ready to reach our first victory in Europe.
Nikolina Zadravec
Right wing, HC Podravka Vegeta


SCM Ramnicu Valcea (ROU) vs Thüringer HC (GER)
Saturday 4 February, 16:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • if THC beat Ramnicu Valcea for the second time this season, they will book an early quarter-final ticket
  • THC won the reverse fixture last month by 38:31 and both Anika Lott and Iryna Glibko had a nine-goal outing
  • the German club is the most effective team in the competition - 100 goals scored in three matches at 62.5 per cent efficiency
  • experienced left back Iryna Glibko is the competition’s second-best top scorer with 24 goals scored for the Romanian side
  • Ramnicu Valcea defeated CSM Galati 26:22 in the Romanian league, while THC defeated Benshein-Auerbach in the German Bundesliga

Paris 92 (FRA) vs Praktiker-Vác (HUN)
Saturday 4 February, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Vác snatched a last-gasp win against Paris 92 two weeks ago, courtesy of Nikolett Marinscak
  • both sides lost to group leaders Thüringer HC, while Vác could not keep up with Valcea
  • Vác's centre back Csenge Kuczora is the current leader on the top scorer list with 38 goals; a versatile player who won the W19 EURO 2019 and was part of the All-star Team
  • Paris 92 have the fourth-best defence in the competition, but the second-least effective attack: 24.6 goals scored and 25.6 goals conceded on average
  • Paris 92 celebrated a semi-final berth after beating Merignac Handball in the French cup; Vác defeated Érd in the Hungarian championship
20230202 ELW Round 4 Preview Vac
Two weeks ago, it was a big surprise that we could win against Paris 92. It's sure that they will prepare with double power to take revenge on us for that result, but I hope that we can play against them a very good game in Paris as well, and we can continue our way of what we started in the last two weeks.
Gábor Herbert
Coach, Praktiker-Vác

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