Crucial injuries on both sidesArticle
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Karabatic and Rastvortsev will miss Montpellier vs. Chekhovskie.

Crucial injuries on both sides

Saturday will see the return game between Montpellier HB and Chekhovskie Medvedi in the EHF Champions League. After the 32:27 home victory in Russia, challengers Montpellier have suffered a significant setback before the return leg of the quarter-final against the Bears.

French superstar Nikola Karabatic sustained an injury in Russia, and was examined after Montpellier’s return to France. The official web site of the club reports that Karabatic has tears to his quadriceps muscle, meaning that he will for sure miss the game on 1st May.

Without him, it’ll be even harder to make-up the five-goal deficit from the first game. The French team is still optimistic though, as they’ll be playing before a full arena.

Furthermore, Karabatic’s replacement, the 33 year-old Serbian Mladen Bojinovic, played a great match on Wednesday, finishing as top scorer with eight goals from nine attempts. He took responsibility and had an important role in minimizing the difference when Chekhov went ahead by 6-7 goals.

Bojinovic also organised Montpellier’s attack superbly, and he was definitely man of the match for the team of Patrice Canayer. "In 2003, when we were down in the final by eight goals after the first game at the Palais des sports René-Bougnol, we managed to beat our opponent by 12 goals to win the trophy. I expect the same enthusiasm tomorrow. We want to win and qualify for the EHF FINAL4," a very optimistic Bojinovic said.

On the other side, the Bears will be without one of their most important players, Alexey Rastvortsev. The left back is also injured and expected to be out for the next three weeks. Despite this, the Russians are still confident following their 5-goal lead on home soil. With their ‘mastermind’ coach, Vladimir Maximov, they’ll try to implement good tactics against the 6-0 defence that caused the Bears some difficulties in the second half of the first game.

The return match takes place at 19.00 GMT in Montpellier on Saturday, and you can follow all the action on our free-of-charge live web-stream on

TEXT: Márk Hegedüs