Unbeaten sides clash as group phase reaches halfway mark

Round 5 of 10 in the EHF European League Men 2022/23 group phase is scheduled for Tuesday. Four teams have won all four matches so far, but at least for one of them, the streak will end as unbeaten group D leaders Füchse Berlin and Skandserborg-Aarhus are set to meet in the German capital. Also, Montpellier HB have their winning run put to the test at defending champions S.L. Benfica.


Fejer B.A.L. Veszprém (HUN) vs Tatran Presov (SVK)
Tuesday 6 December, 17:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • the two teams are the only ones in the group without points so far
  • Veszprém have conceded the most goals of all teams in the group phase: 157; Presov are third on this ranking with 141 goals
  • Veszprém’s Eles Benedek is currently the fifth best scorer in the competition, with 28 goals
  • for Presov, Nikola Ivanovic has netted 24 times across the first four rounds of the competition
  • the two teams have never played against each other in European competition
  • Veszprém suffered their 10th straight defeat on Saturday against NEKA (30:31), while Presov took the points against Brno in the Czech league (33:22)

SL Benfica (POR) vs Montpellier HB (FRA)
Tuesday 6 December, 20:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Montpellier have won all four matches so far and lead the group; titleholders Benfica have lost twice: against Göppingen and Schaffhausen
  • with 145 goals scored, Montpellier boast the second-best offence in the European League – four goals behind group D leaders Füchse Berlin
  • Valentin Porte, Montpellier’s best scorer in the group phase, has netted 22 times, while Petar Djordjic has scored 26 goals for Benfica
  • Benfica and Montpellier have never played against each other in European competitions
  • last weekend, Benfica easily defeated Avanca in the Portuguese League (40:22), while Montpellier kept the lead of the French League after beating Dunkerque (43:28)

Frisch Auf Göppingen (GER) vs Kadetten Schaffhausen (SUI)
Tuesday 6 December, 20:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • the teams share second place, with six points each
  • Göppingen’s Axel Goller has scored 26 times in the European League this season
  • for Schaffhausen, Odinn Thor Rikhardsson leads the top scorer ranking, with 22 goals since the beginning of the season
  • Göppingen coach Hartmut Mayerhoffer has been replaced with Markus Baur last week
  • Göppingen head coach Markus Baur: "It will be an exciting match, because both teams want to reach a good place in the group. And I am also looking forward to this match, because Kadetten were my former club as coach several years ago."
  • Göppingen and Schaffhausen have never played against each other in European competitions
  • last weekend, Göppingen took their first point in the Bundesliga after four losses - with a 26:26 draw against Hamburg; Schaffhausen also drew against in the Swiss league: 31:31 against Aarau
20221205 ELM Preview Quote Benfica
They are a top-level team, with great players and an experienced coach. It will be good to play them. It is a beautiful game to watch in our arena, one of the best matches you can see in Europe, against one of the best teams in the world and I believe our fans will enjoy this handball clash.
Chema Rodriguez
S.L. Benfica head coach


FTC (HUN) vs Valur (ISL)
Tuesday, 6 December, 18:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • despite winning a single match this season, FTC have the fourth-best attack in the competition: 138 goals, 11 fewer than Füchse Berlin
  • but the Hungarian side also has the second-most porous defence in the competition, conceding 143 goals (35.75 goals per game)
  • after two wins to start the group phase, Valur have lost the last two matches, 32:37 against Flensburg and 29:32 against PAUC Handball
  • FTC head coach István Pásztor: "It is hard to prepare and to analyse the opponents well enough for two matches in one week. We will do our best, the key to our progress is to adapt to play in two competitions at the same time."
  • FTC’s form has dipped in the past month, with the Hungarian side winning only one of their last six games across all competitions; last weekend, they drew 25:25 with Budakalasz in the Hungarian league
  • the two sides have the highest average number of goals scored in their matches: FTC’s matches feature 70.25 goals on average, Valur’s 68.25

PAUC Handball (FRA) vs Ystads IF HF (SWE)
Tuesday, 6 December, 18:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • entering the match on a two-game winning run, PAUC Handball tied SG Flensburg-Handewitt on the top of the standings, with six points in four matches
  • the French side is undefeated on its home court, delivering excellent attacking performances against FTC and Valur
  • Ystad have won their last two matches as well, as the two most in-form teams in the group will be facing off in this match
  • PAUC left back Romain Lagarde: "Ystad have just won against Flensburg, a solid Swedish team in defence. They have gained confidence in the last games; it is up to us to move forward and improve game after game."
  • with 27 goals, left back Jonathan Svensson is Ystad’s top scorer
  • 40-year-old veteran Kim Andersson is Ystad’s second-best goal scorer, with 23 goals in four matches, including an excellent six-goal outing in last week’s win against Flensburg

TM Benidorm (ESP) vs SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER)
Tuesday, 6 December, 20:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Flensburg, one of the favourites to win the title this season, are coming off a surprise loss against Ystad in their previous game
  • a few days later, Flensburg also lost in their domestic league – 31:30 in Leipzig – and are now ranked fifth in the Bundesliga
  • Benidorm, in their maiden season in the group phase of a European competition, has won their first game last week: 33:32 after a buzzer-beater against FTC
  • Benidorm have lost both the games played at home: 29:32 against Valur, and 27:29 against Ystads, scoring only 109 goals throughout the first four matches
20221205 ELM Preview Quote Benidorm
I am happy that I can still play an important role for the team and hope to be there again against Flensburg. It is a great opponent to play against and hopefully, with the support of our home crowd, we can put on a show and keep some points at home.
Ivan Nikcevic
TM Benidorm left wing


RK Nexe (CRO) vs Fraikin BM. Granollers (ESP)
Tuesday 6 December, 18:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • the highlight match of the group is a fight for first place in group B: Nexe are unbeaten, second-ranked Granollers lost for the first time last week, against Skjern
  • Pol Valera Rovira is the competition’s third-best goal scorer on 30 (69.8% efficiency); Fahrudin Melic is right behind him with 29 goals (78.4% efficiency)
  • Granollers head coach Antonio Rama: "We face the most difficult trip. They have very good one-on-one players; defensively they are very forceful; they play very clearly and simply, but very effectively."
  • the Croatian side had an easy win in the Croatian championship defeating Zamet 36:19, while the Spanish side also continued their streak, beating Torrelavega 30:29
  • this will be the first encounter between the teams

Skjern Handbold (DEN) vs Sporting CP (POR)
Tuesday 6 December, 20:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Skjern are ranked third and are level on six points with Granollers, followed by Sporting two points behind
  • Skjern goalkeeper Christoffer Hoffmann Bonde is in the top four of the competition with an average of 36.75% save efficiency
  • the Costa brothers have combined scored 46 times so far: top scorer Francisco Costa has netted 26 times (60,5% shot efficiency) and Martim 20
  • Sporting head coach Ricardo Costa: "The feeling is good, we have been playing well and we want to continue the winning streak. It is not easy, especially away, but we have managed to get good results in other situations, against TT Holstebro and Bjerringbro-Silkeborg Handbold, for example."
  • Sporting won both previous times the clubs met each other – in the EHF Cup in 2014

Alpla HC Hard (AUT) vs Balatonfüredi KSE (HUN)
Tuesday 6 December, 20:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • neither Hard nor Balatonfüred have gained a point from their first four matches
  • those are two of the lowest scoring teams in the competition: Balatonfüred have scored 108 goals; Hard 109; only Aguas Santas in group D have scored fewer goals
  • Hard head coach Hannes Jón Jónsson: "Both teams haven't scored any points in the group phase so far and both teams want to change that with all their strength, that is for sure. We weren't happy with our performance in the last two games and we really want to do better."
  • Balatonfüred will miss five injured players: Dani Bösz, Tomi Jánosi, Dejan Malinovic, Balázs Szöllösi and Huba Vajd
  • both clubs lost in their domestic league: Hard against Ferlach (29:25); Balatonfüred against Tatabánya (28:27)
20221205 ELM Preview Quote Nexe
Granollers are surely a very difficult opponent as they show in the Spanish championship, where they are currently in second place behind Barcelona. Granollers are a mixture of experienced and young players, led by Antonio Garcia. But we must, first of all, play hard in defence and try to score easy goals from that, and play patiently in their zone, without many technical mistakes.
Luka Moslavac
RK Nexe left back


Füchse Berlin (GER) vs Skanderborg-Aarhus (DEN)
Tuesday 6 December, 18:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • both sides have won all their four matches so far and they share the lead in the group with the maximum of eight points
  • Füchse have the best attack of all 24 group phase participants with 149 goals, 10 more than Skanderborg-Aarhus; they have both conceded 110 goals
  • Berlin count on several Danish players such as Jakob Holm, Hans Lindberg and Lasse Andersson, but their top signing Mathias Gidsel is currently out with a hand injury
  • the two leading scorers are involved in this match: Füchse’s Milos Vujovic with 33 goals, and Skanderborg-Aargus’ Thomas Sommer Arnoldsen with 30
  • Füchse have won 13 of their 15 matches – including 30:28 against Erlangen last weekend – to lead the German Bundesliga; Skanderborg-Aarhus won 34:24 against Holstebro and are sixth in Denmark

Aguas Santas Milaneza (POR) vs HC Motor (UKR)
Tuesday 6 December, 20:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • both sides have lost all four matches by now and are bottom of the table with zero points
  • Aguas Santas are the only team in the competition with less than 100 goals scored: 98
  • by 28 goals, Motor’s Ihor Turchenko is currently fifth best scorer of the competition, while none of the Portuguese side is listed among the top 30 strikers
  • Aguas Santas took a 28:21 victory against Santo Tirso in the Portuguese league, where they rank fourth, while HC Motor took their third victory in the second German division, beating Potsdam 33:27

Bidasoa Irun (ESP) vs HC Eurofarm Pelister (MKD)
Tuesday 6 December, 20:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • both sides are on four points, and despite their long history, they will meet in a European competition for the first time
  • both sides reached the Last 16 last season, but went out at that stage
  • Bidasoa Irun head coach Jacobo Cuétara: "They have very good players, a team that poses difficulties defensively due to a lot of activity and coming out of the sides."
  • Pelister’s Danish late arrival Sebastian Henneberg scored 13 goals in their last match against HC Motor and rank seventh in the top scorer list with 27 strikes
  • Last weekend, Bidasoa Irun won the in the Spanish against Huesca (29:25) and they rank fifth; Macedonian league leaders Pelister defeated Tikvesh 30:20

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