20211028

Anniversary for Barça, MOTW in Norway

For the third season in a row, Elverum will host a Match of the Week clash, with the developing Norwegian champions locking horns with Montpellier in group A on Wednesday.

Elsewhere, Szeged (against Vardar) and Kiel (against Aalborg) have tough tests ahead, while Brest and Zagreb face in a battle to end their winless runs.

Can Kielce stay on top in group B? In order to do so, the Polish side will have to repeat their 2015 performance, when they were the last team to beat Barça in their own Palau Blaugrana. For Barça it is a very special duel, as it will be their 500th match in all European Cup competitions. Depending on the result of that game, Veszprém may use the opportunity to move one place higher, if they can win their away game in Zaporozhye.

GROUP A

MOTW: Elverum Handball (NOR) vs Montpellier HB (FRA)
Wednesday 17 November, 18:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Elverum are on eight points, one point below Montpellier in the current table
  • Elverum have levelled their longest ever unbeaten run in the Champions League on four matches (three wins, one draw), if they win, they will match their longest series of victories
  • Montpellier have won the last four matches to take eight of their nine points
  • the 2016/17 group phase saw these teams meet twice, each won their home match
  • Tobias Gröndahl has scored 23 times in the last three Champions League matches and is Elverum’s top scorer on 36 goals
  • Montpellier’s youngster Julien Bos is also flying high with 25 goals in his last three matches, including eleven against Brest, the 23-year-old is on 34 goals so far this season

HC Meshkov Brest (BLR) vs HC PPD Zagreb (CRO)
Wednesday 17 November, 18:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Brest and Zagreb are the only two of all 16 participants without a victory this season
  • Brest are still on zero, Zagreb took a draw against Elverum and have not won a Champions League match since March 2020
  • both teams clashed in the semi-final of the SEHA League in September, when Zagreb won 38:37 after penalty shootout
  • in the Champions League the Belarussian and Croatian champions duelled four times, Brest won twice, Zagreb once, one match ended in a draw
  • both top scorers, Ivan Cupic (Zagreb) and Stanislav Kasparek (Brest), are on 25 goals so far.

Pick Szeged (HUN) vs HC Vardar 1961 (MKD)
Thursday 18 November, 18:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Pick are on eight points, their last result was a dominant 31:28 win against Aalborg, while Vardar, on five points, lost their last three matches
  • Vardar took only one point away from home, a 27:27 in their opener at Elverum
  • Vardar have won six of 12 Champions League matches against Pick and lost four, their top duel were the quarter-finals in 2019, when Vardar qualified for Cologne, where they took their second title
  • while Timur Dibirov (Vardar) is on top of the EHF Champions League scorer list on 40 goals, line player Bence Banhidi has netted 25 times for Szeged
  • Vardar coach Veselin Vujovic steered Szeged’s Slovenians Nik Henigman, Borut Mackovsek and Dean Bombac to the World Championship bronze medal in 2017 as their coach

THW Kiel (GER) vs Aalborg Håndbold (DEN)
Thursday 18 November, 18:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Kiel have nine points on their account so far and are unbeaten in the last three matches, while Aalborg are on eight points after their defeat at Szeged
  • Kiel have won five of six matches against Aalborg, who took their only draw against their German neighbours in 2004
  • last season, Aalborg made it to their first EHF FINAL4 at Cologne after beating Kiel’s rivals Flensburg in the quarter-finals
  • it is the return of former THW player Aron Palmarsson, who had already played with Veszprem and Barcelona at Kiel. With THW, the Icelander took his first two titles in 2010 and 2012, followed by a third with Barça in 2021
  • Kiel’s superstar Sander Sagosen played for Aalborg before he joined Paris in 2017
201126 Barca Kiel Landin Moller
It is always great to play against a Danish club. Aalborg enhanced step by step in the past and are now getting bigger and bigger. Aalborg are playing really strong at the moment, I expect two very exciting matches. Our goal is to take at least three, better four points out of these two matches.
Magnus Landin
THW Kiel left wing

GROUP B

HC Motor (UKR) vs Telekom Veszprem HC (HUN)
Wednesday 17 November, 18:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • the two clubs played eight times against each other in the history of the competition and only once did Motor take the points, in the 2013/14 group phase
  • Motor and Veszprém crossed paths already once this season, in the SEHA League semi-final. Veszprem won 36:29 on their way to the title
  • the Hungarian side is currently third in the group with eight points, while Motor are seventh, with four points.
  • Veszprém announced three signings for next season during the national team break: right wing Mikita Vailupau (Meshkov Brest), line player Dragan Pechmalbec (Nantes) and left-back Yehia El-Deraa (Zamalek)
  • last weekend, Veszprém drew with Szeged (26:26) in the top of the table clash in the Hungarian league

SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER) vs CS Dinamo Bucuresti (ROU)
Wednesday 17 November, 20:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Flensburg are currently bottom of the group with three points while Bucharest are one point ahead
  • this game will be the first between the two sides in European competition
  • Hampus Wanne is currently the fifth best scorer in the Champions, having netted 37 times for Flensburg, while Raul Nantes stand at the eleventh place in the standings, with 31 goals.
  • Flensburg announced last week that their line player Johannes Golla had extended his contract until June 2026
  • Flensburg rank fourth in the German Bundesliga, having beaten Rhein-Neckar Löwen last weekend (31:26), while Dinamo Bucuresti also took the points in Buzau (35:24)
20211117 Janc Quote
I played in Kielce for three years and I know almost all the players. They sure come here to win. I think we are in good shape and we play at home, with our fans, and we have to win.
Blaz Janc
Barça right wing

Barça (ESP) vs Lomza Vive Kielce (POL)
Thursday 18 November, 20:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • the two sides currently stand at the first two positions of the group. Kielce are leaders with ten points, while Barça are second with one point fewer
  • Barça and Kielce played against each other nine times in history. The Spanish side won six confrontations, including the three last one, while Kielce won one, back in 2015. Two games ended on a draw
  • Kielce were the last team to beat Barça in Palau Blaugrana, on 5 December 2015
  • Barça lost their Portuguese line player Luis Frade last week. The 23 years-old suffers a torn ACL and will probably be out for the rest of the season
  • Both teams are undefeated leaders in their domestic leagues. Barça took the points on Saturday in Cangas (33:26), while Kielce beat Stal Miele (35:28), also on Saturday

Paris Saint-Germain HB (FRA) vs FC Porto (POR)
Thursday 18 November, 20:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • the two sides have met four times in European competitions and Paris won three of them, including the twice last season, 34:31 and 29:28
  • the two sides are currently tied in fourth place of the group with five points
  • Paris have won the two home games they played in the Champions League this season while Porto took two points away from home already, in Bucharest
  • both Paris and Porto are undefeated leaders in their domestic leagues. This weekend, Paris easily defeated Chartres (39:23) while Porto took the points against Gaia (33:30)
  • Paris made official last weekend that Spanish right wing David Balaguer would be joining the club next summer, while Henrik Toft Hansen and Kamil Syprzak extended their contracts for an additional season
20211014 FC Porto X VESZPREM PAL 9760
PSG is a high-quality team but we also have an amazing team, we played two times last year and we lost by narrow margins, so I think we can look them in the eyes, give our absolute best and fight for the win.
Nikola Mitrovic
FC Porto goalkeeper

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