MOTW preview: Important duel for the knock-out stageArticle
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Pick Szeged vs. Kadetten Schaffhausen Match of the Week on Saturday – Free internet streaming with English commentary

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MOTW preview: Important duel for the knock-out stage

Tom Ó Brannagáin is on his way to Hungary – he likes the Hungarian food, the Hungarian handball but even more the atmosphere in Hungarian handball arenas. On Saturday he will be the live commentator for the second Match of the Week of the VELUX EHF Champions League, Pick Szeged vs. Kadetten Schaffhausen.

Both teams hope for the Last 16 spot in their tough Group D with opponents like Barcelona, Berlin, or Zagreb. This direct duel will have a great significance on the way to the knock-out stage. In the previous season Schaffhausen made their way to the Last 16, as Pick missed the knock-out stage closely.

In the 2010/11 season of the VELUX EHF Champions league both already faced in the Group Matches, each team winning their home match. Pick took a 29:26 victory, Kadetten won 31:27 – and finally both teams qualified for the Last 16.

In the current season both lost their opener – Kadetten had no chance against Barcelona, Szeged was defeated at Zagreb.

Pick coach László Skaliczki is expecting a difficult match. “This will be our first home match this season and this is always special and important. Our opponent is a well-known Champions League team with good players. We hope to repeat our home victory from the previous encounter, but I am sure that we won’t be able to reach this goal easily.”

Skaliczki had analysed the Kadetten match against Barcelona - his opinion: “They played well, kept Barcelona on five goals, but at the end of the match the difference became bigger.” Skaliczki especially knows Kadetten goalkeeper Arūnas Vaškevičius, who was “my player when I was the coach of Dunaferr, so I know him better than the others. I am happy because he made an impressive career.”

And Vaškevičius will have to carry a big responsibility, as second Kadetten goalkeeper Remo Quadrelli is out due to an injury. And Kadetten do not have a good “flow” currently, as they already lost three matches in the Swiss league.

On the other hand, Skaliczki hopes for the support from the sold-out stands in this Match of the Week: “They accompanied us to Zagreb and supported us during the match and they were on the court with us as an 8th player. I am really sorry that we could not beat Zagreb. I hope that our fans will join us on Saturday too and we want to show our gratitude with playing better and well organised.” And the fans will receive a special gift on Saturday, as Pick is presenting a special season brochure in their first home match of the VELUX EHF Champions League.

In contrast to Schaffhausen, Szeged are not suffering from major injuries and will mostly be able to play with their full squad against the Swiss champions on Saturday.

So newcomer Alen Blažević hopes for a better match than against Zagreb, when they face Kadetten: “I am not satisfied with my first Champions League match as a player of Pick Szeged. Zagreb played very well, but we should have played better. On Saturday I expect bigger fight, we have to play far better and score more goals. I know Schaffhausen from older times, they are a very good team, though some players left and some new players joined the squad. We have to win!”

Follow the livestreaming of Match of the Week Round 2 on powered by on Saturday, 6 October (17:15 hrs local time).

TEXT: Björn Pazen /br