First decisions in 2012Article
«Go back

Up to three more teams can qualify for the Last 16 if results go their way in Round 8 of the VELUX EHF Champions League.

»EHF CL Channel »2011-12 Men's News

Three rounds of the VELUX EHF Champions League remain – but some clubs could secure their spot in the Last 16 with victories in Round 8 starting on Thursday 9 February 2012.

Group A:

Kadetten Schaffhausen (SUI) vs. RK Bosna Gas Sarajevo (BIH)
Thursday, 20:00 hrs local time

If the Swiss champions want to remain in the race for the knockout stage they need to win against the Bosnians – otherwise the gap to Chambery and Sävehof could increase to four points. Kadetten easily won the first encounter in Sarajevo 34-23 and are the favourites against Bosna, who have lost most of their key players over the last few weeks because of financial problems.

Chambery Savoie (FRA) vs. FC Barcelona Intersport (ESP)
Sunday 17:00 hrs local time

The big clash of Group A: Last season Chambery took the points on home ground against the eventual VELUX EHF Champions League champion – and another victory would bring the French runners-up close to the Last 16. But the Catalans can increase their lead in the group and make it eight victories in a row. Barca had more players at the EHF EURO – including the six from Spain, who only just missed out on a medal.

IK Sävehof (SWE) vs. RK Croatia Osiguranje Zagreb (CRO)
Sunday 18:10 hrs local time

An important encounter for both teams: If Sävehof can continue the way they played before the EHF EURO break they could secure a victory against the Croats, who have won six of seven matches so far. But thanks to their international experience and individual class, Zagreb is the favourite – not least because of the 30-26 victory in the first encounter.

Group B:

MKB Veszprem (HUN) vs. KS Vive Targi Kielce (POL)
Saturday 16:15 hrs local time

If Veszprem win – like in the opening duel in Kielce (29-25) - the Hungarian champions will qualify for the Last 16. Apart from the 24-33 defeat against Füchse Berlin, Veszprem have looked strong on home ground and usually beat any team in their arena. But Kielce – with three semi-finalists of the EHF EURO in Serbia – need those points, too, if they are to maintain hopes of reaching the Last 16. Marko Vujin (Veszprem) vs. Rastko Stojkovic (Kielce) is one of the most interesting duels in this match as they played together for Serbia and took an unexpected EHF EURO silver medal. Now they face each other in the VELUX EHF Champions League. As Veszprem’s wing player Tamas Ivancsik is out with a long-term injury, the Hungarian champions have signed the Slovak Tamas Orban from their league opponent Tatabanya.

BM Atletico Madrid (ESP) vs. Bjerringbro-Silkeborg (DEN)
Saturday 20:45 hrs local time

It was a close result, when Atletico Madrid took the points in Herning in Round 1. But since then Bjerringbro have not won a single point, whilst Madrid are still unbeaten and have already qualified for the Last 16. On home ground Atletico have only dropped one point – against Chekhovskie Medvedi. Several EHF EURO top stars will meet in this uneven clash. On Madrid’s side top scorer Kyril Lazarov (MKD) or six Spaniards, who lost the semi-final in Belgrade against Danish Bjerringbro players like goalkeeper Niklas Landin or youngster Rasmus Lauge Schmidt. But despite their EHF EURO title, the Danes will not start as favourites in the Spanish capital.

Füchse Berlin (GER) vs. Chekhovskie Medvedi (RUS)
Sunday 17:00 hrs local time

Füchse surprised the Russians in Russia by securing a draw – and now both opponents are equal on points three rounds from the end of the Group Stage. The winner of this animal duel – foxes vs. bears – will take a huge step towards the knockout stage. Both teams have left their little November problems behind – and for both it will be interesting to see how the huge number of EHF EURO players cope with this endurance at the re-start. Füchse won only one match on home ground, while Medvedi have only one away victory to their name, so a thrilling match is in prospect.

Group C:

HCM Constanta (ROU) vs. Orlen Wisla Plock (POL)
Thursday 20:00 hrs local time

Orlen Wisla Plock can eliminate HCM Constanta from the race to the Last 16 if they win in Romania. If they do that the Polish champions need only one more point from the upcoming two matches to be sure of a place among in the Last 16. The first encounter between these two was a thriller with Plock securing a lucky 30-29 victory. But despite the better start, the Poles have not taken any further points from away matches up to now, whilst Constanta took their only victory on home ground.

RK Cimos Koper (SLO) vs. HC Metalurg (MKD)
Saturday 18:00 hrs local time

The "Minister of Defence" returns to his former club: Serbian EHF EURO hero Darko Stanic, who played for Cimos Koper until last season, will turn out for Metalurg this time. The Balkan duel is another crucial match, with both teams being equal on points and both having already qualified for the next stage. In the first match the Macedonian champions were clear 28-23 winners – but Koper is much stronger on home ground than away. The winner of this crucial duel has best chances to finish second in this group.

St Petersburg HC (RUS) vs. HSV Hamburg (GER)
Sunday 16:00 hrs local time

Hamburg can become the first of all teams to secure a group victory in Round 8. They are five points ahead of Metalurg and Koper, and the German champions only need a victory in St Petersburg to finish first. The 32-20 victory in the first game – the first of seven straight wins - shows the difference between the two teams, with the Russians are typically stronger at home. HSV is still searching for a coach after sacking Per Carlen in December. In St Petersburg – the club, coached by their former player Dimitry Torgovanov - assistant coach Jens Häußler will lead HSV, who start as clear favourites.

Group D:

THW Kiel (GER) vs. Pick Szeged (HUN)
Thursday 19:00 hrs local time

After a weak start with just three points from their first three games – including the opening victory at Szeged - THW Kiel have won four straight matches and are the favourite against the Hungarian runners-up, too. If the Germans win they will not only strengthen their position as group leader, but they will also do Montpellier and Leon a favour as both would then qualify for the Last 16. Thanks to their outstanding series of 36:0 consecutive points in Bundesliga and only one home defeat (against Montpellier) in the whole season, a draw or a Kiel defeat would mean a huge surprise. For Szeged this match is the last chance to remain in the race for the Last 16.

AG Kobenhavn (DEN) vs. RK Partizan Beograd (SRB)
Sunday 16.50 hrs local time

The first encounter between these two sides holds good memories for the Danes, as that victory was their first ever win in the VELUX EHF Champions League. And also in the re-match Kobenhavn is the clear favourite against the Serbian champions, who are still waiting for their first point. And AGK is flying high on the back of the Danish EHF EURO title and the fact they have three EURO All-Stars in their team.

Reale Ademar Leon (ESP) vs. Montpellier Agglomeration (FRA)
Sunday 18.30 hrs local time

Another close encounter: Leon is one point ahead of the French champion after seven rounds – and the Spaniards' home ground is a real fortress, as Ademar are still unbeaten on home ground including a draw against Kiel and a victory against Kobenhavn. After the disappointing French EHF EURO campaign, MAHB coach Patrice Canayer needs to build up his players – but Montpellier need a victory to avoid being fourth in the group, which will mean to fight with another group winner in the Last 16. Match of the Week with live commentary in English at>>

TEXT: Björn Pazen