Last Champions League round of 2023 to give clearer picture

Danijela Vekić & Adrian Costeiu

The EHF Champions League Women 2023/24 plays its last round of 2023 at the weekend, a mirror image of round 7. With the previous round setting a number of records and seeing several impressive comebacks there is pressure on teams to perform once more.

Match of the Week travels to France on Sunday where Krim Mercator Ljubljana will try to redeem themselves against Metz Handball and stop the French winning streak. In an all-Danish duel, Ikast Handbold seek a win against Team Esbjerg in their third clash in two weeks.

Györi Audi ETO KC aim to continue their unbeaten streak, while at the bottom of both groups, IK Sävehof and MKS Zaglebie Lubin are still on the hunt for their first points of the season.


DVSC Schaeffler (HUN) vs CSM Bucuresti (ROU)
Saturday 18 November, 16:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • after the 29:29 draw one week ago, the two sides are tied in the standings, with seven points each after seven rounds
  • with wins against Buducnost and Sävehof, CSM have won more points on away courts (four) than on their home court (three) so far
  • DVSC are currently on their best-ever streak in the competition, a three-game unbeaten run, and have only lost one game from four on their home court this season
  • only Metz Handball’s Kristina Jörgensen have more goals and assists combined (84) than CSM’s Cristina Neagu, who has 41 goals and 38 assists so far
  • DVSC have the lowest number of saves made by the goalkeepers this season, 58, while CSM are sitting in fifth place in this statistic, with 95 saves
20231115 CLW Rd8 Preview DVSC Quote
We had great success last week in Bucharest, it gave us a huge boost emotionally. Of course it will be a completely different match in Debrecen. CSM will prepare even more thoroughly for our tactics, but if we enter the pitch with a similar fighting spirit and humility, we can achieve a good result again.
Míra Vámos
Left wing, DVSC Schaeffler

Odense Håndbold (DEN) vs IK Sävehof (SWE)
Saturday 18 November, 16:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • in round 7 the Danish side set their record for the number of goals scored in a single match in the European top competition, in their 44:20 win against Sävehof
  • Sävehof have lost seven games on the trot this season, have 11 lost matches in a row, and would tie their worst-ever losing streak of 12 matches in a row in the Champions League with another loss here
  • Odense have the third best attack in the competition, with 237 goals scored this season, and the best in the group. Sävehof scored 65 goals less than the Danish side in the first seven matches
  • the Danish side have never won more than four matches in a season on their home court. They can tie that record in this match, having won their last three home matches this season
  • Odense line player, Maren Aardahl, is the second top scorer of the season so far, with 44 goals, one less than the leader of the standings, Andrea Lekic
Odense Coach
The last match in the Champions League in 2023 is very important to us. We have a chance to climb to second position in the group, and to be in contention for a direct quarterfinal after the group fase. Sävehof are a dangerous opponent when they hit their best level. Although we won big away, we know that we need to be on our toes also this weekend.
Ole Gustav Gjekstad
Head coach, Odense Håndbold

Györi Audi ETO KC (HUN) vs SG BBM Bietigheim (GER)
Saturday 18 November, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Györ can start a season in the Champions League with eight wins in a row for the third time in history, after making the same start in 2012/13 and 2021/22
  • the Hungarian side has, by far, the top defence in the competition, conceding only 169 goals, 14 fewer than any other team after the first seven rounds
  • Bietigheim have lost the past two matches in the group by an average margin of 10.5 goals per match, after winning the first five matches
  • Györ are coming from an unexpected 22:28 loss against FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria in the domestic league, putting more pressure on them to win the title
  • the Hungarian club has won all the three mutual matches, with the average margin being 9.66 goals per match
20231116 CLW Rd8 Preview Gyor Quote
We play two games with Bietigheim in a week, so it will be harder to surprise the German team. We won a difficult away game at their home, which included several periods where we played our best. This time, we need to be able to build up our fast attacks and returns in defence.
Ulrik Kirkely
Head coach, Györi Audi ETO KC

WHC Buducnost BEMAX (MNE) vs Brest Bretagne Handball (FRA)
Saturday 18 November, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • the Montenegrin side has scored the lowest number of goals between the 16 teams in the European premium competition, 162
  • Buducnost are still one win shy of their 160th in the competition, to become only the second team after Györ to hit this number
  • Brest’s sixth goal in the match will be their 2,500th in the European top competition, making them the 17th team in history to reach this milestone
  • only Györ have conceded fewer goals than Brest (183) this season, but the French side boasts the 13th attack in the competition
  • four of the nine mutual matches have ended in a draw, including the most recent one last week, 20:20, at Brest
20231116 CLW Rd8 Preview Buducnost Quote
We won a big point in Brest, but there is a place for improvement in our game. On paper, Brest is a better team than us and in Podgorica they will play for their pride, so we know that we must not make mistakes, especially in attack. An important game for us, because if we win two points, we can say that this half-season was successful.
Bojana Popovic
Head coach, WHC Buducnost BEMAX


Vipers Kristiansand (NOR) vs CS Rapid Bucuresti (ROU)
Saturday 18 November, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV 

  • Vipers seek revenge after a narrow defeat (29:30) in Romania which marked Rapid’s first win against the reigning champions
  • the Norwegian side is on a four-game winless streak, their worst since the 2019/20 main round
  • Rapid Bucuresti got back on track with two straight wins in the Champions League; one of the crucial players was goalkeeper Diana Ciuca with a 31 per cent save efficiency this season
  • the home team have an efficient attack so far – with 219 goals scored they are fifth in the competition; Rapid are 12th with 184
  • ahead of the match, Rapid beat SCM Craiova, 32:25; Vipers played the last Norwegian game in 2023 and by beating Follo Hk Damer 39:30 they have won all 11 games in the domestic league
20231116 CLW Rd8 Preview Vipersquote
It's going to be a tough game. We just played them, and we want to do better in front of our home crowd. We have lost enough games by one goal, so I really hope we can secure two points before the break.
Silje Waade
Back, Vipers Kristiansand
20231115 CLW Rd8 Preview Rapid Quote
The match against Vipers will be more difficult than the last one, but we have to continue with this fighting spirit that
we are showed in the last games. We don’t play at home in front of our supporters, who are really important for us, but we will try our best to come back with two points from Norway.
David Ginesta
Head coach, CS Rapid Bucuresti

MKS Zaglebie Lubin (POL) vs FTC Rail-Cargo Hungaria (HUN)
Sunday 19 November, 14:00 CET, live on EHFTV 

  • Zaglebie Lubin are still dreaming of their first win in the competition. The Polish side are with Sävehof the only team to register a seven-game losing streak and have conceded the biggest number of goals in seven matches (250)
  • FTC secured their second win of the season after defeating the Polish side 35:22 in round 7
  • FTC centre back Andrea Lekic could become the fourth player ever to score 1,000 goals in the top tier competition – standing at 995 goals she needs five to reach the milestone
  • Lekic is also the competition's top scorer this season with 45 goals scored; nine of those goals she netted against Lubin
  • with 24 goals this season left back Karolina Kochaniak-Sala is Lubin's top scorer
  • Lubin remain the top team in Poland after beating Kobierzyce; FTC boosted their confidence after beating group A leaders Györ in the domestic league 28:22
20231116 CLW Rd8 Preview Lubin Quote
In the first match we made too many mistakes in attack and defence, especially in the second half, when our opponent began to quickly increase their advantage. We have to do our homework from the first match and play much better in the second.
Bożena Karkut
Head coach, MKS Zaglebie Lubin

MOTW: Metz Handball (FRA) vs Krim Mercator Ljubljana (SLO)
Sunday 19 November, 16:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • the French powerhouse are on a four-win streak and are looking to extend it in front of their fans; Krim's last win was in round 3 against FTC in the end of September
  • against Metz in round 7 Jovanka Radicevic became the first player in history to reach the 1,100-goal mark in the Champions League
  • if Krim win the Match of the Week it will be their 135th Champions League victory
  • Metz's Sarah Bouktit and Kristina Jörgensen both are among the top three scorers, scoring 44 and 43 times this season respectively
  • Metz are the second-best attack of the competition, netting 240 goals in seven matches, while Krim are the second-best defence, conceding 183 goals
  • this will be the 17th time these two sides meet; in their last encounter a week ago Metz took a convincing 28:22 win
20230917 Metz Ikast End 73
We want to make our victory there more credible, and what better way to do that than a (victory) second time around?
Emmanuel Mayonnade
Head coach, Metz Handball

Team Esbjerg (DEN) vs Ikast Handbold (DEN)
Sunday 19 November, 16:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • beating Ikast 35:34 in an all-Danish duel in round 7, Esbjerg took over the top position in group B
  • Ikast are now on a two-game losing streak after their blistering start to the season with five straight wins; Esbjerg have a 15-game winning streak across all competitions since the start of the season
  • Irma Schjött, who joined Ikast this summer from Thüringer HC, is the competition's third-best goalkeeper with 76 saves at 31 per cent save efficiency
  • both sides' top scorers are within one goal from each other - Markéta Jeřábková scored 39 goals for Ikast; Kristine Breistøl's and Nora Mørk's tally stands at 38
  • ahead of their third encounter in 12 days, Esbjerg remained perfect in Denmark by winning against Silkeborg Voel 31:24; Ikast were successful against Ajax København (41:21)

Photos © Uros Hocevar/kolektiff; Olivier Stephan

20230921 CLW R3 Preview Quote Jensen
We have a good feeling going into the match. Ikast succeeded by a lot more in the previous match than they did in the two others in the league and the cup. But we do not feel like we need to change many things. There are of course some minor details but that is it.
Jesper Jensen
Head coach, Team Esbjerg

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