Top clashes to close the year 2022

Danijela Vekić & Adrian Costeiu

The EHF Champions League Women group phase ends the year 2022 with a bang. This weekend’s round 9 includes a duel between the two group A leaders, CSM Bucuresti and Vipers Kristiansand, as well as the Match of Week between WHC Buducnost BEMAX and Györi Audi ETO KC in group B.


FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria (HUN) vs DHK Baník Most (CZE)
Saturday 17 December, 16:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • FTC will be trying to finish the year on a high after two straight defeats against CSM in the past two weeks
  • a loss would see Most virtually eliminated from contention for a play-off spot, as they are already seven points behind FTC and Brest, with only five games remaining in the group phase in 2023
  • Most have lost the last 11 games in a row in the EHF Champions League
  • the Czech side have conceded the most goals in the competition, 328; the only side to have shipped more than 300 goals so far
  • in their first match, FTC came only one goal short of the record for the largest number of goals scored in a single game, beating Most 46:27

Brest Bretagne Handball (FRA) vs Krim Mercator Ljubljana (SLO)
Saturday 17 December, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • after a wobbly start to the season, Brest bounced back and sealed three points out of a possible four against Bietigheim. They will be hoping to finish 2022 on the back of a three-game unbeaten streak
  • Krim have lost four out of the last five games played in the European top competition, with their only win coming against Brest, 24:22, in October
  • only two sides – Lokomotiva Zagreb (154 goals) and Most (197 goals) – scored less goals than Brest this season, the French team barely scratching the surface with 202 goals, with 32 of them coming in the last match, against Bietigheim
  • Krim have won only twice on away courts in the past 23 games, with one win coming this season against Most
  • Krim team captain Barbara Lazović: "We are not in a position where we can relax. We are aware that the Brest team is extremely strong, they have two or three excellent handball players in every playing position. Regardless of the fact that we won the first match, we made some mistakes that we tried to correct this week."
  • this is Brest’s worst start to the season, with only three wins in eight games, since their debut season when they lost all six matches in the group phase
20221215 CLW Round 9 Preview BBH Morel
This match will be important. We know that Krim and Brest are neck-and-neck to qualify. We failed during the match in Ljubljana, we were stopped by a very good goalkeeper, Barbara Arenhart. We will therefore have the will to give a better performance, to continue our momentum as against Bietigheim and Nantes a few days ago. This match will be decisive for the future, with the desire to offer a great victory to our fans.
Pablo Morel
Coach, Brest Bretagne Handball

SG BBM Bietigheim (GER) vs Odense Håndbold (DEN)
Sunday 18 December, 14:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • two teams heading in opposite directions face in Bietigheim. The hosts are on a three-game winless streak, while Odense are in the middle of their biggest winning streak in history, with four wins in a row
  • Bietigheim are still unbeaten on their home court, with three wins and one draw in the four matches played at home this season
  • Bietigheim head coach Markus Gaugisch: "If we want to finish third, then we have to do our best and win this game. It's possible together with the crowd, even though Odense are a great team and are performing very positively at the moment."
  • Odense need only 16 goals to hit the 1,500-goal milestone in the EHF Champions League
  • Odense right wing Kelly Vollebregt: "It will be a really tough and important game, since we are level on points. They will come with a strong defence and a lot of speed into the attack. We must play our game strongly and concentrated in 60 minutes."
  • Bietigheim will miss once again line player Danick Snelder and left wing Antje Döll, but will hope to welcome back Veronika Malá and Inger Smits
  • Odense broke Bietigheim’s 64-game unbeaten streak two months ago with an unexpected 31:24 win despite of their injury woes, which saw them get centre back Nycke Groot out of retirement

CSM Bucuresti (ROU) vs Vipers Kristiansand (NOR)
Sunday 18 December, 16:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • both CSM and Vipers are on 13 points and both had six wins, one draw and one loss so far
  • CSM’s only loss this season came against Vipers, 35:29, while the Romanian side has three wins and one draw in home matches this season
  • CSM left back Cristina Neagu, last season’s EHF Champions League top scorer, is the second top scorer of the competition, with 57 goals
  • Vipers have the top attack of the competition with 265 goals, an average of 33.1 goals per match, tied with Danish side Esbjerg
  • the Norwegian side won four games out of seven played against CSM, including the last three, by an average margin of 6.3 goals
20221215 CLW Round 9 Preview CSM Pintea
The game against Vipers Kristiansand will be a very interesting one and a pleasure to watch for sure. The first place in our group is on the line and this motivates me. I have a lot of faith in what we are building every day in our training sessions and in our games and I believe a lot in our team and in what we will offer on game day.
Crina Pintea
Line player, CSM Bucuresti


MOTW: WHC Buducnost BEMAX (MNE) vs Györi Audi ETO KC (HUN)
Saturday 17 December, 18:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Györ are coming off their second defeat in the group phase (30:27 against Rapid) last week plus a defeat in the Hungarian league (32:26 against FTC) on Wednesday
  • Buducnost are on a positive streak after two victories over Storhamar
  • the two teams will meet for the 27th time. Györ have won 19 games, including the 32:19 victory in round 6 which was the biggest winning margin ever between the two teams
  • Buducnost and Györ are the two clubs with the most victories in the competition history – 156 and 197 respectively
  • Milena Raicevic is Buducnost’s leading scorer with 56 goals; Linn Blohm and Ana Gros lead for Györ with 32 goals each
  • both teams’ goalkeepers have high save efficiency rates: Armelle Attingré is at 32 per cent, both Sandra Toft and Silje Solberg are above 35 per cent

Team Esbjerg (DEN) vs Kastamonu Belediyesi GSK (TUR)
Saturday 17 December, 18:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Esbjerg are currently on four straight wins and are trailing leaders Metz by one point; Kastamonu have three consecutive defeats from their last three matches
  • Team Esbjerg are one of two teams in the group phase (alongside Vipers) with the most goals scored: 265
  • Kastamonu Belediyesi have the second-largest number of conceded goals in the competition – 277, including 43 from Esbjerg in the reverse fixture
  • Esbjerg’s Henny Reistad is the current top scorer with 58 goals; Azenaide Carlos on the Turkish side scored eight less
20221215 CLW Round 9 Preview Esbjerg Kamp
The match is going to be a bit different, because they play a bit different than what we normally play against. And they showed against Metz, that they can play. But we are favourites and we need to keep our concentration through out the entire match.
Kaja Kamp
Line player, Team Esbjerg

Storhamar Handball Elite (NOR) vs CS Rapid Bucuresti (ROU)

Saturday 17 December, 18:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • this is a clash between the season's two debutants; the round 6 match was their first ever meeting, won by Rapid 27:25
  • Rapid Bucuresti have only one defeat this season and impressed with a win over Györ last week
  • Storhamar have four consecutive defeats in the competition, winning only on two occasions, both against Lokomotiva Zagreb
  • right back Maja Jakobsen is the best scorer for Storhamar this season with 42 goals, she was also the top scorer against Rapid in round 6
  • Rapid goalkeeper Ivana Kapitanovic has been outstanding in the team’s last two matches with a save efficiency of 35.4 per cent
20221215 CLW Round 9 Preview Rapid Gutierrez
This weekend we have a big game against Storhamar, we know how important those two points are for us. Storhamar are a good team, they fight hard and play a good and strong handball. In the previous game we had to work the whole game at 100 per cent to win the match, playing in Norway is going to be even more complicated.
Jennifer Gutierrez
Right wing, CS Rapid Bucuresti

HC Lokomotiva Zagreb (CRO) vs Metz Handball (FRA)
Sunday 18 October, 14:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Metz won the first match against Zagreb 38:13, the second-biggest win in the EHF Champions League
  • if they win again, Metz will secure the first position in the group before the winter break; Lokomotiva are left with no hope of progressing after eight straight defeats
  • Lokomotiva have the youngest team in the competition and have the least effective attack, scoring 254 times with an efficiency of 48.3 per cent
  • Lokomotiva head coach Nenad Šoštarić: "At the match in Metz, we were very impressed and played a match that was not to our credit. We grow up and learn from game to game, so our goal on Sunday is to show how much we have learned in the past three months. We are not competitive with the best European clubs yet, but want to be one day."
  • Lokomotiva won the Croatian derby against Podravka 22:20 and took over the first position in the domestic championship
  • Metz continued their perfect streak in France, securing their eighth win by defeating Toulon 29:22

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