20221201 CLW Round 7 Preview FTC
EHF Champions League

Regional rivalry marks return of EHF Champions League Women

Danijela Vekić & Adrian Costeiu

The EHF Champions League Women is back in action after a month-long break for the EHF EURO 2022, and the comeback is highlighted by two entertaining games underlining the great rivalry by two neighbours – Romania and Hungary.

The Match of the Week heads back to Group A, where CSM Bucuresti face FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria. Meanwhile the only unbeaten team in the competition, Rapid Bucuresti, head to Györ for a match against the group leaders and record champions.


DHK Banik Most (CZE) vs Vipers Kristiansand (NOR)
Saturday 3 December, 16:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Most are one of the two teams that have failed to get a point in the first six matches, alongside Lokomotiva Zagreb in Group B, with four points separating them from a play-off place
  • the Czech side are the team with the most permeable defence, conceding 246 goals, 32 more than any other side in the competition, an average of 41 goals per game
  • the hosts are on a nine-game losing streak, only seven losses shy of the record set by Krim Mercator Ljubljana between November 2014 and October 2016
  • Vipers have won a single game in the last three in this group and are tied with Bietigheim and CSM Bucuresti on the top three places in the standings, with nine points apiece
  • the game will feature the homecoming of last season’s EHF FINAL4 MVP, Markéta Jerábková, with the left back having previously featured for Most between 2014 and 2018
20221201 CLW Round 7 Preview Most
This match won’t be easy, but on the other side we don’t want to make it easy for our opponents. It will be mostly about us, how self confident we should be. And if we play using all our strengths, we are able to play with the strongest teams in the competition.
Jiří Tancoš
Coach, DHK Banik Most

Krim Mercator Ljubljana (SLO) vs Odense Håndbold (DEN)
Sunday 4 December, 14:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Krim will rely once again on right wing Jovanka Radicevic, the All-star right wing at the EHF EURO 2022, and centre back Daria Dmitrieva. They combined for 67 of the team’s 168 goals in the first six matches, or 39.8 per cent of all Krim’s goals
  • if Radicevic scores at least four goals for Krim in this match, the right wing will become the all-time top goal scorer in the EHF Champions League. She is currently at 1,013 goals, three fewer than Anita Görbicz
  • the Danish side are slowly starting to see their injury woes ease, with right back Dione Housheer coming back on the court at the EHF EURO 2022, but backs Larissa Nusser, Mia Rej and Noemi Hafra are still out
  • Dutch centre back Nycke Groot returned to the court after a one-year lay-off, helping Odense navigate through their injuries, having already made her debut against Bietigheim one month ago
  • the two sides have met twice in the European premium competition, with Odense taking both wins, 26:24 and 24:19, in the previous season
  • Odense coach Ulrik Kirkely said: "When Krim play at their top level, they play fantastic handball. We must play the game on our terms and control the speed of the game."
20221201 CLW Round 7 Preview Varagic
We know that the Danish team plays the fastest handball. Regardless of the fact that we have already met Scandinavian teams, I think we have the right recipe to stop fast handball. We have to focus on our attack, not to make many mistakes in attack and counter-attack, and what they punish in defence as hard and upside down as possible.
Alja Varagić
Right back, Krim Mercator Ljubljana

SG BBM Bietigheim (GER) vs Brest Bretagne Handball (FRA)
Sunday 4 December, 16:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Bietigheim had their 64-game unbeaten streak in all competitions snapped in the last game of the group before the break, losing 24:31 to Odense
  • the German side bounced back and secured two wins last week, 31:29 against Thüringer HC in the Bundesliga and 26:24 against Leverkusen in the German Cup
  • the hosts are one of the two teams that have scored at least 200 goals in the first six rounds, only two goals behind the competition’s best attack, Esbjerg, which scored 202 goals
  • Brest had two players in the All-star Team of the EHF EURO 2022, goalkeeper Cleopatre Darleux and line player Pauletta Foppa
  • the French side are unbeaten in their matches against SG BBM Bietigheim, winning both games in the group phase of the 2019/20 season
  • Bietigheim coach Markus Gaugisch said: "Brest is equipped with top players, all of whom performed very well at the European Championship. It's amazing that this team is behind us in the table. However, it shows that we have to reach our performance limit if we want to be successful."

MOTW: CSM Bucuresti (ROU) vs FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria (HUN)
Sunday 4 December, 16:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • after a weak start to the season, FTC bounced back in superb fashion, winning five of their seven points in a three-game unbeaten streak
  • CSM finally conceded a loss in round 6, as their best-ever start to a season in the European premium competition was snapped by Vipers Kristiansand
  • Romanian star Cristina Neagu, the EHF EURO 2022 All-star left back, has scored 40 goals this season. She is the sixth top scorer of the EHF Champions League Women and needs only 50 goals to hit the 1,000-goal mark, only the third player in history to reach that milestone
  • FTC right back, Katrin Klujber, who made the All-star Team at the EHF EURO 2022, is the top scorer of the Champions League this season with 50 goals
  • in the past five seasons, the two teams have met 10 times, with CSM taking seven wins to FTC’s three; the Romanian side has won all the five matches played at home
20221201 CLW Round 7 Preview FTC Elek
It is always difficult to start again after the international tournaments, it takes time for the team to get to the same level where we were in October. We have never won in Bucharest before, it will not be easy now either, but I hope that we'll get at least one point.
Gábor Elek
Coach, FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria


HC Lokomotiva Zagreb (CRO) vs Team Esbjerg (DEN)
Saturday 3 December, 16:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Lokomotiva still dream about winning their first points in the EHF Champions League; in two seasons they have 10 defeats and two draws
  • Esbjerg have two straight wins in the competition and are looking to extend their streak after defeat by Rapid Bucuresti in round 4
  • the home team were represented by four players and a head coach at the Women's EHF EURO 2022 while Esbjerg had eight players represented – including five Norwegian European champions. Henny Reistad was elected as the MVP, and team captain Kathrine Heindahl was the All-star best defender    
  • it is the clash of the best and the least effective team of the whole EHF Champions League. Esbjerg lead the way with 202 goals (68.5 per cent efficiency), while Lokomotiva sit at the bottom of the table, scoring only 116 times (48.3 per cent efficiency)
  • this will be the first time these two teams meet
20221201 CLW Round 7 Preview Posavec
Esbjerg stand out for their amazing shots from outside, it is their strongest weapon, and we must prepare for it the most. We will try as much as possible to stop those shots from the outside so that they don't explode and break our defence. We will try to play the defence as tightly as possible, be as aggressive as possible, and try to use some chances from a good defence and quick attacks.
Stela Posavec
Captain and right wing, HC Lokomotiva Zagreb

Metz Handball (FRA) vs Kastamonu Belediyesi GSK (TUR)
Saturday 3 December, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Kastamonu return to the EHF Champions League with a tough journey to Metz. The Turkish club have only won one match this season, against Lokomotiva Zagreb in round 5
  • Metz have only one defeat this season, losing to Esbjerg in round 4, and surprisingly had a draw against Rapid Bucuresti in round 2
  • Metz's attack is the fourth one in the competition at 65.2 per cent efficiency; Kastamonu on the other side have an efficiency of 55.6 per cent - only three clubs have scored less
  • Metz head coach Emmanuel Mayonnade: "We have to keep the good momentum we had before the break. All the points are important, especially when the matches are played at home."
  • the Turkish club was represented by three players at the Women's EHF EURO 2022; Metz’s Louise Burgaard and Kristina Jorgensen returned with silver
  • the French side had a warm-up in the French championship against Besancon, winning 34:33 to stay at the top of the domestic competition
  • in both previous matches Metz were successful against Kastamonu
20221201 CLW Round 7 Preview Metz (1)

WHC Buducnost BEMAX (MNE) vs Storhamar Handball Elite (NOR)
Saturday 3 December, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Buducnost host Storhamar in Moraca, hoping that the fans who roared Montenegro to a historic EHF EURO bronze medal will return for the club competition
  • nine players from Buducnost won EHF EURO bronze, the first medal for Montenegro after 10 years
  • Storhamar has one European champion in their rows - line player Ane Cecilie Høgseth raised the trophy with Norway
  • both teams have two victories in the competition so far and are coming back to the EHF Champions League after defeats in round 6
  • Storhamar will miss Line Ellertsen due to an injury but welcomed the comeback of right wing Anna Jakobsen
  • this will be the third meeting between the two, both have one victory on their account after a Cup Winners’ Cup quarter-final in 2010

Györi Audi ETO KC (HUN) vs CS Rapid Bucuresti (ROU)
Saturday 3 December, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • the Hungarian champions are entering the game with three straight wins, after a defeat by Metz in round 3; Rapid Bucuresti have not lost in the last three matches (two wins and one draw)
  • Györ's Stine Oftedal was part of the EHF EURO 2022 All-star Team and led her club teammates Silje Solberg and Veronica Kristiansen to a ninth European title
  • Rapid Bucuresti were the team with the most players at the Women's EHF EURO 2022 - 11 in total
  • the Hungarian side have the third most effective attack in the competition with 198 goals scored (66.4% efficiency); Rapid is sixth, netting 187 times at 60.3% efficiency
  • Györ come from a 33:21 win against Alba Fehérvár in the domestic championship and are still in the lead. Rapid Bucuresti was equally successful in Romania overrunning SCM Craiova 35:19
  • this will be the first encounter between the teams
  • Györ centre back Stine Oftedal said: "It will be a tough game against a team that played very well in the beginning of the season. Even though we haven’t been together for long after the EURO, I hope we can refind our connections and play a good game."
20221201 CLW Round 7 Preview Viver
It will be very important to have a very complete game in all aspects, we will have to be effective in attack and sacrifice ourselves in the defensive retreat. We will have to pay close attention to Oftedal's 1v1 and 2v2 with the pivot. And of course control the outside shots from the 9-metre line, especially those of Ana Gros.
Carlos Viver
Coach, CS Rapid Bucuresti

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