Magdeburg host GOG in MOTW and Kiel meet Aalborg in round 7
After a two-week national team break, the Machineseeker EHF Champions League 2023/24 gets back on track this week with an interesting round 7, which marks the halfway point of the group phase.
In group A, leaders THW Kiel host third-ranked Aalborg Håndbold, welcoming back their former goalkeeper Niklas Landin. In group B, defending EHF Champions League winners SC Magdeburg, who have just won the IHF Super Globe for a third straight time, host the MOTW against Danish side GOG in a duel between the third-ranked sides behind group leaders Barça and Telekom Veszprém HC.
I am really looking forward to the game against PSG, always nice and fun to see old teammates. It will be a tough game against a very good team. Fortunately, we have a sold-out Trondheim Spektrum behind us. We will give everything and hope we can continue the good trend at home.
We have a good feeling ahead of the top match against Aalborg. We played a good game against the Rhein-Neckar Löwen. We want to do the same against Aalborg. Everyone knows that this is a top match and that we can expect a really tough game. I'm looking forward to the reunion with Niklas Landin, but I won't change my game because of him.
I am looking forward to playing against one of my previous clubs. Kiel always has an amazing atmosphere, and it is a fun place to play. Although they have not had the best start in the league, they have seemed strong in the Champions League. I think the game will be very close.
I am not expecting an easy game, especially as we play in Zagreb. Zagreb’s defence is impressive, everyone is over 2 metres tall and 100 kilograms in weight. We must do everything to crumble that wall.
I am glad to come back and play again in Szeged. We have to prepare well, worked hard and I hope for a positive result. They still have the Spanish system that they have been playing for ten years, but with the new coach and some new players, they have introduced some new things. We have to prepare our heads to be at the level for the whole game.
We can expect a hard match against Pelister on Thursday, they have a good team and very quality individuals in the team which deserves full respect. We will have to play on our top level this match against them to come to our goal ultimately, which is to win the match. We are favorites, but we will have to prove that also on the court.
Veszprém are one of the two best teams in the group. It will be a really tough match, there will also be around 600 away fans in the stands. We have a good momentum in the domestic league, and I want from my players to play without pressure and give all they have.
Playing against Celje is always special for me because Celje is my hometown and it is also my childhood club, where I started my handball journey. In the previous encounters my brother Gal was on the other side, so that made it even more special, but he left Celje before this season. The crazy thing is that I have one more brother, Mai, who is 17 and he recently came to the first team, so once again I will play against my brother. I am excited for the game.
Porto are a rival that we need to finish ahead of. These two matches will be very important, both teams are close. They have some good athletes, our matches are often good physical battles. They have just lost to Sporting, they will be motivated. We have warned our players.
We may find ourselves facing the most aggressive defense in the Champions League. If you don't read it correctly, it makes you throw with very bad positions, always touched. Perhaps they have more problems in positional attack, but they rely a lot on their defense. The defeat suffered against Veszprém at home makes these two points even more important, vital.
The reception from the fans in Magdeburg on Monday was incredible, despite the rain. Something like that always motivates us all. With GOG, a very strong team is now coming to us in the GETEC Arena on Thursday. And together with our fans, we want to pick up the next important points.