Three teams can book their Last 16 ticketsArticle
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Round 6 of the VELUX EHF Champions League will bring the first decisions and the return matches from last weekend.

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Three teams can book their Last 16 tickets

16 of 24 – this is the calculation for the VELUX EHF Men’s Champions League. The four top-ranked teams of each group qualify for the Last 16 and the knock-out stage. The first three teams can already book their tickets for the Last 16 in Round 6 of the Group Stage. MKB Veszprém have their fate in their own hands, while THW Kiel and Ciudad Real must hope for a little help to achieve early entry to the Last 16.

Round 6 will start on Wednesday in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Group A

Rhein Neckar Löwen (GER) – THW Kiel (GER)
Friday, 19:15 hrs (local time)

Part two of three within ten days for the physical German duel. After Kiel took both points on home ground on Sunday, a victory in the Lion’s den could bring them early qualification to the Last 16, provided Chambery win at Celje on Saturday.

Kiel hope to show the same performance as in the first 45 minutes of match 1, but both clubs know well that Löwen set their hopes on their strong catch-up chase at the end of the game.

With a win on home soil the Löwen – on the other hand – can recapture the lead of their group. Both teams are still suffering from injury problems and both have hard league matches only 48 hours before their encounter: Kiel play against Magdeburg and Löwen have to play in Hamburg.

The VELUX EHF Men's Champions League top game of Group A, Rhein Neckar Löwen (GER) vs. THW Kiel (GER on Friday 26 November 2010 at 19:15 hrs (local time), will be broadcast live on our free-of-charge web stream on

HC Celje Pivovarna Lasko (SLO) – Chambery Savoie (FRA)
Saturday, 19:15 hrs (local time)

Despite some injured key players, RK Celje have to win this crucial game to remain on-track for the Last 16.

After losing in Chambery 24:30 they need a seven-goal difference to overtake the French team, if they are on equal points at the end.

Chambery arrive in Slovenia with big self-assurance, not only because of their surprisingly strong CL results, but also due to leading the French League.

Another victory would virtually mean a ticket to the Last 16 – and if the Löwen were defeated by Kiel, second place in the group. 

The VELUX EHF Men's Champions League top game of Group A, Celje Pivovarna Lasko (SLO) vs. Chambery Savoie (FRA) on Saturday 27 November 2010 at 19:15 hrs (local time), will be broadcast live on our free-of-charge web stream on

FC Barcelona-Borges (ESP) – Vive Targi Kielce (POL)
Saturday, 16:15 hrs (local time)

The Spanish CL record title-winner is the great favourite in this match, even though they lost to Löwen on home ground earlier.

Barcelona won the first match in Poland 33:26. The Poles still await their first victory of this season – but it would be a really big surprise if they celebrate it in the Palau Blaugrana.

Group B

MKB Veszprém (HUN) – IK Sävehof (SWE)
Saturday, 17:25 hrs (local time)

After their ten-goal victory in Sweden, Veszprém can book their Last 16 ticket by winning the re-match, as then the difference to Sävehof would be ten points with only four matches remaining.

If the Hungarians want to finish the Group Stage as number one, they really need these two points as they will meet their strongest opponents Kolding, Hamburg and Montpellier in the next rounds.

Tatran Presov (SLK) – HSV Hamburg (GER)
Sunday, 16:00 hrs (local time)

The hunt for places one-to-four in this group is in full swing – and as HSV hope to finish first, they need to clear this hurdle in Slovakia.

Presov are the great outsiders with still no points on their account and they lost the first match clearly 23:35. By losing against HSV again, Presov would miss their last theoretical chance to qualify for the Last 16.

Montpellier Agglomeration (FRA) – KIF Kolding (DEN)
Sunday, 17:00 hrs (local time)

Revenge, or four points – this is the question of the top match of this weekend.

After winning with an eight goal difference in Denmark, Montpellier are favourite on home ground. But Kolding have lost only one away match (in Veszprém), while Montpellier have only won one home match (against Sävehof).

"We need to win all home matches to finish first. Nothing else matters," says top French star Nikola Karabatić in an interview with

Group C

Cuatro Rayas Valladolid (ESP) – AaB Handball (DEN)
Saturday, 18:00 hrs (local time)

Leader Valladolid can take a great step towards the Last 16 – and after their 36:32 win in Denmark, that hurdle doesn’t look that high.

The Spaniards would then remain on top, but Aalborg could still hope for the next phase, with two home matches ahead, even if they lose this game.

Dinamo Minsk (BLR) – Kadetten Schaffhausen (SUI)
Sunday, 16:00 hrs (local time)

These teams are the only two that didn’t meet last weekend, as the game in Switzerland was re-scheduled to February 9th 2011.

Including the re-match, these duels may decide who is going on to the next phase. Dinamo (one victory) and Kadetten (one point) can both reach fourth place, together will Aalborg.

If Minsk win, Kadetten’s chances would be close to zero, so the Belarussians are looking to take full advantage of their strength on home ground.

Pick Szeged (HUN) – Chekhovski Medvedi (RUS)
Sunday, 17:25 hrs (local time)

Can Szeged continue to surprise their opponents? After winning the first match in Chekhov, the Hungarians would overtake last season’s EHF FINAL4 participant with a second victory. But, the passion for revenge is deep inside the hearts of the Russians.

Group D

HC St. Petersburg (RUS) – HCM Constanta (ROU)
Wednesday, 19:00 hrs (local time)

After the close 29:28 victory on home ground, Constanta can prove their strength in St. Petersburg and also consolidate their fourth position in this group by moving onto six points.

For St. Petersburg, the match is even more important, as they could close the gap to Constanta.

The VELUX EHF Men's Champions League top game of Group D, HC St. Petersburg (RUS) vs. HCM Constanta (ROU) on Wednesday 24 November 2010 at 19:00 hrs (local time), will be broadcast live on our free-of-charge web stream on

HC Croatia Osiguranje Zagreb (CRO) – SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER)
Sunday, 17:30 hrs (local time)

Flensburg bring a three-goal lead and a two-point gap to Zagreb – but the Croatians wish to tie in both statistics.

As both teams still have to meet current leader, Ciudad Real, this match may be the decisive one for the fight for positions one-to-three.

Zagreb can count on the support of their frenetic spectators, but Flensburg are aiming high since Ljubomir Vranjes was recently appointed as the new coach.

The VELUX EHF Men's Champions League Group D game HC Croatia Osiguranje ZAGREB (CRO) VS. SG Flensburg-Handewitt VS (GER)  on Sunday 28 November 2010 at 17:30 hrs (local time) is our „Match of the Week" and will be broadcast live on our free-of-charge web stream on, including English commentary by Tom O'Brannagain.

Renovalia Ciudad Real (ESP) – Bosna Sarajevo (BIH)
Sunday, 16:45 hrs (local time)

Three-time CL winner Ciudad Real can qualify early for the Last 16, provided they beat Bosna, and St. Petersburg loses against Constanta.

The Spaniards are the clear favourites, but not only because of their 29:22 win in the first match in Sarajevo.

Considering that Ciudad meet both Flensburg and Zagreb in the first two matches of 2011, every point counts if they want to finish first.

TEXT: Björn Pazen