Preview of the Match of the WeekArticle
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Romero vs. Romero, Madrid vs. Berlin – who will reach the quarter-finals of the VELUX EHF Champions League?

Preview of the Match of the Week

The duel of two 2012 VELUX EHF FINAL4 participants is under the spotlight on Sunday (18:00 hrs local time) in the Match of the Week, streamed live, free of charge and with live English commentary by Tom Ó Brannagáin.

Last weekend’s first leg ended in a draw, with Füchse Berlin rallying from behind to draw level at 29:29 after Atlético Madrid led by three at half time.

It is a battle between two teams with very different backgrounds: Three time EHF Champions League winners from Spain vs last season’s VELUX EHF Champions League debutant.

Berlin lost their 2012 semi-final in Cologne against THW Kiel, Atletico were in the final against Kiel but fell at the final hurdle, just like they did in 2011, when they were beaten by FC Barcelona.

Madrid are the only team which have been part of all three VELUX EHF FINAL4 tournaments and had reached all VELUX EHF Champions League quarter-finals since the 2003/04 season, but the first leg result has left them in danger of failing to do so this season.

The Spaniards took two easily earned victories in the Group Phase against Füchse last season, but things have changed since.

Berlin have gained more stability and international experience, while Madrid have entered a phase of transition and have been hit-hard by injuries.

“Before the first leg in Madrid I rated our chances by 20:80, now I hope that it is 50:50,” said Füchse manager Bob Hanning

“We played a brilliant second half at Atlético which enables us to hope for a berth in the quarter-finals.

“But still, Madrid are a collective of world class players. I have kept in mind our fabulous re-match against Leon in the previous season, when we caught a 12-goal deficit in the quarter-final.”

Füchse won their domestic dress rehearsal against VfL Großwallstadt 30:21 and still rank fourth in the league, but reduced the gap to THW Kiel at the top, who lost at Göppingen.

Madrid are still second in Spain, but are out of the race for the title and their dress rehearsal was even clearer, winning 32:18 against Villa de Aranda.

Angel Romero. no relative of Spanish Füchse star Iker Romero, is eagerly looking forward to the most important match of the season.

“The key will be to play like in the first half of the first leg, when he had full control of the match. I believe that we can beat Berlin on their ground and make it to the quarter-finals,” Romero told the club website.

Both teams are misisng important players for the game, Berlin still miss their inspiring playmaker Bartlomiej Jaska (appendix operation), while Madrid have to replace goalkeeper Adnan Sabanovic (torn cruciate ligament) and Miguel Sanchez, who suffered an adductor injury last week.

The aggregate winner of this encounter will be in pot 2 for the quarter-final draw on Tuesday (11:00 hrs. CET), which will also be streamed live on

TEXT: Björn Pazen / cor