Off-court friends, on-court rivals reunite in MOTWArticle
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PREVIEW: Cyril Viudes from KIF Kolding Kobenhavn will face his former teammate and old friend William Annotel in the third edition of the Match of the Week on Sunday. The plan of the Danish team is to steal both points from the French newcomers.

Off court friends, on court rivals reunite in MOTW

Not many people know that, but Sunday will be a very special day for two players in the Match of the Week of the VELUX EHF Champions League Round 3 between Dunkerque HB Grand Littoral vs KIF Kolding Kobenhavn game. William Annotel, Dunkerque's goalkeeper, and Cyril Viudes, Kolding's line player, played in the same team a couple of years ago, and have remained good friends since.

"It will be a great pleasure for me to see him again," says Annotel. "It won't change anything for me on the court, but it will be nice to meet again."

On his side, Cyril Viudes knows that his former teammate will gave his Kolding team a hard time.

"It will be a special game for me, since I will be facing a friend on the court and that I will have my family in the arena. I'll have a good chat with William before and after the game, but I'll try to remain focused on the game."

And even though there will be a friendly atmosphere around this game, Viudes is also well aware that the Dunkerque's players will not make it easy for the visitors.

"Kolding's guys don't know how hard it is to play in Dunkerque, but I know it. They have a very strong defence, especially when they play at home," Viudes warned.

It might be even underlined by the fact that Dunkerque lost its first two matches in the competition, and that they are desperately looking for their first victory.

"The defeat against Plock here left us with a lot of regrets," Annotel notes. "We should have won that game, but we lost some key balls and against such teams, you pay the bill immediately. On sunday, we should rely on our defence, which is our strongest point."

Kolding should expect to face a team which has not, apart from their first Champions League in Kielce, let their opponents score more than 30 goals in this season (the French league included).

The Kielce game remains an exception though, confirms Pierre Soudry: "We played very well for 45 minutes and then we had no gas. But even though we lost by a big margin in Poland, I think our defence worked quite well, and that we should build our successes on our defense, which has always be our strongest point."

But Kolding feel like they can do something in France. "We're going there to win, full stop. Only a couple of small errors prevented us from winning in Kiel, but we showed how good we could be during this game," Viudes said.

"Dunkerque are a direct rival in the race for the Last 16 and it would be nice to take points against them, as we did three weeks ago in Porto."

Held up by their recruits, especially Albert Rocas who scored ten goals in the first two matches, as well as the comeback of Kim Andersson, Kolding definitely have the weapons to gain a result in Dunkerque. But will it be enough?

Further information

Follow the Match of the Week Round 3 with English commentary of Tom O Brannagain live on ehfTV on Sunday, 17:00 hrs. local time

TEXT: Kevin Domas / br