Krim host Vipers in MOTW; three teams seek fifth straight win
Ljubljana will be under the spotlight in the Match of the Week as the EHF Champions League Women 2023/24 returns from its two-week national team break with round 5 this weekend, as Krim Mercator seek a win against reigning champions Vipers Kristiansand on Saturday at 18:00 CEST. The only unbeaten team of group B, Ikast Handbold, try to remain perfect at home against MKS Zaglebie Lubin.
In Group A, Györi Audi ETO KC coach Ulrik Kirkely faces his former side Odense Håndbold, while the other unbeaten side, SG BBM Bietigheim, host IK Sävehof.
It's always a little bit more emotional that I was there for four years and I'm just happy to meet friends and I think it will be a nice game for me! We will prepare for Brest, as I know they have good players and they play good handball, but we need this victory and we will do everything to get it! I think our key will be a good defence and if we manage that I'm sure we will score the goals in attack!
A very important match awaits us against a team with a long history. Buducnost has similar results to us and I think it represents similar quality. We definitely want to win at home, in front of the home crowd, but this requires flawless, focused play.
I remember vividly, last year the first game against Odense was very difficult. In the first game of the Champions League quarter-finals we fought very hard, but the second one went much smoother and we made it to the EHF FINAL4. Now we continue to improve both defensively and offensively match by match. But we have to be very well prepared for this meeting, because this time Odense has a young, talented team and they play very fast.
I look forward to play against a Swedish team again. I probably know a lot of their strengths and weaknesses, but they also know mine. Last time I played against Sävehof was with my former club and then we lost, I hope therefore that the result looks different on Sunday.
It'll be a tough game on Sunday for our young team. People expect Bietigheim to win, and we'll do everything we can to perform better than we did against CSM in the latest EHF Champions League game."
Lubin are a team we have to beat and therefore the match is about finding our level. If we can finish the match at that pace and with the physical pressure we have asserted in recent matches, then Lubin will have a hard time. On the other hand, if we don't play the match as we should, then Lubin are a team with fine offensive individual skills that can give us some challenges.
Whenever we are playing FTC, the matches are intense and often only a goal or two are separating us at the end. We have to perform to win. FTC have not had the best start of the campaign but the do have world-class players on every position, so we need to make a great atmosphere at our home court to put pressure on them.
The stakes are pretty high, and we want to win this weekend because it is potentially going to enable us to move off the bottom of the table a little and get closer to the top. We are aiming to finish at the top of the table, and in this very tough group there are matches that we must and potentially should win.
Metz have a very good team and they are very strong when they are playing at home. So, we have to prepare very well our game, pay attention to their key players, and trust in ourselves more than anything. It will be a difficult game, we have to be focus all 60 minutes if we want to win and bring back home the two points.