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EHF Champions League

Eight teams still in the hunt for quarter-final tickets

Kevin Domas, Björn Pazen

In the penultimate round of group A, Aalborg and Kiel can already book the top two positions, which would allow them direct passage to the quarter-finals. While Aalborg have their fate in their own hands in the MOTW against Montpellier, Kiel do not only need to win at Zagreb, but hope for victories of Aalborg and Elverum against Szeged.

In group B, Kielce can secure the top spot as soon as this week. In order to do so, the Polish side must take the points in Veszprém on Thursday. The battle is still fierce for the last two tickets as well, with Porto, Motor, Flensburg and Dinamo still in the run.

GROUP A

Elverum Handball (NOR) vs Pick Szeged (HUN)
Wednesday 2 March, 18:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Elverum have lost the last six group matches - but still rank sixth, level on points with Zagreb
  • after the sensational defeat at Zagreb in their first Champions League match in 2022, Szeged again had problems last week, but finally won 28:26 against Brest
  • Szeged have already qualified for the play-offs and with 16 points on their account, they still can finish first or second in this even group
  • the 34:30 away win for Elverum at Szeged was one of the biggest surprises so far in this group - and the first points for the Norwegian champions against the Hungarian champions in four matches
  • with 67 goals, Elverum’s Tobias Gröndahl is currently the second-best EHF Champions League scorer, Bence Banhidi tops Pick’s scorer list on 56 strikes

MOTW: Montpellier HB (FRA) vs Aalborg Håndbold (DEN)
Wednesday 2 March, 20:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Aalborg won the first duel against Montpellier 36:28, with means the French record champions, who are two points below their Danish counterparts, need to win by more than eight goals to win the direct encounter
  • Montpellier only took one point (a draw against Brest) from the last three matches including defeats against Vardar and Kiel, while Aalborg have equalled their longest winning streak in their competition history on five victories
  • if Aalborg win, they are definitely among the two top teams of this group but a Montpellier win leaves the door open for four teams to claim the direct tickets to the quarter-finals
  • Aalborg’s top scorer is Swedish EHF EURO champion Felix Claar with 65 strikes and French talent Julien Bos on 53 for Montpellier
  • in the French league, Montpellier beat European League participant Toulouse 35:32 on Saturday and sit fourth, while Aalborg are second in Denmark and beat Sonderjyske 37:31 on Friday
2021.09.29 HC Vardar 1961 Aalborg Håndbold Gade Larsen XL
I have a lot of respect for Montpellier and how they have performed in the Champions League this season. But we want to end the group phase in the top two and in order to do so, a win in Montpellier will be important.
Simon Gade
Aalborg goalkeeper

HC PPD Zagreb (CRO) vs THW Kiel (GER)
Thursday 3 March, 20:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • THW had won both matches after the EHF EURO break, against Elverum and Montpellier, while Zagreb took the points against Szeged, but lost against Vardar
  • Zagreb are on eight points, equal with Elverum, and have a tough programme ahead with final group matches against the two top sides Kiel and Aalborg
  • THW are on 17 points, if they, Elverum and Aalborg win, a top-two place is confirmed for the German champions
  • Kiel had won the first duel with Zagreb 36:28, their ninth victory in so far 17 duels against the Croatian record champions, who won five times
  • Kiel’s Croatian team captain Domagoj Duvnjak faces the club he played for until 2009

GROUP B

SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER) vs FC Porto (POR)
Wednesday 02 March, 20:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • both teams are currently battling for a play-offs ticket, as Flensburg are standing fifth in the group, with nine points, while Porto are eighth, a single point behind
  • Porto won the first game between the two teams this season, 28:27, thanks to a last-second penalty from Antonio Areia
  • Flensburg’s best scorer Hampus Wanne has netted 55 times this season, 13 more than Victor Manuel Iturriza, Porto’s best scorer
  • this weekend, Flensburg took one point in the Bundesliga against Minden (31:31), while Porto defeated Victoria in the Portuguese league (36:21)

Telekom Veszprém (HUN) vs Lomza Vive Kielce (POL)
Thursday 03 March, 18:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Kielce have the opportunity to secure their direct ticket to the quarter-finals if they win in Hungary on Thursday
  • the Polish side is currently top of the group, two points ahead of Barça
  • Veszprém, on the other hand, are fourth with 13 points and have already secured their spot in the play-offs
  • Kielce won the first game between the two teams this season (32:29) in round 2
  • last weekend, Veszprém took the two points in the Hungarian league in Komloi (35:28), while Kielce also won their Polish game in Kalisz (32:26)
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We haven’t had our first victory in the Champions League this year, we could only get a point against Porto, we need to break this negative tendency on Thursday. Kielce is a very strong team, they are on the top of the group, but hopefully we can get even for our defeat in Poland.
Máté Lékai
Veszprém centre back

CS Dinamo Bucuresti (ROU) vs Paris Saint-Germain HB (FRA)
Thursday 03 March, 18:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Paris are currently third in the group, with 14 points, while Dinamo are sixth, with eight points, and still battling for a play-offs ticket
  • Paris handed a harsh defeat to the Romanian side in the first game between the two teams this season (41:30)
  • Dinamo secured their first away points of the season last week in Porto, while having already won three homes games since Round 1
  • Raul Nantes is currently fourth in the competition’s best scorers standing, with 67 goals, while Mikkel Hansen netted 63 for Paris
  • last weekend, Paris added an 18th win to the streak in the French league against Nîmes (36:31), while Dinamo took the points in Cluj (43:30)

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