Battle for the best of the rest in DenmarkArticle
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Group D preview: The previous two rounds lived up to the expectations that Kielce would dominate in this group and anyone can qualify.

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Battle for the best of the rest in Denmark

The action in Group D starts on Thursday evening in Switzerland as Kadetten receive Dunkerque. Kielce are looking forward to another untroubled home win against Motor. Aalborg and Szeged will battle it out to establish who is the best of the rest of Group D - at least for the moment. Watch out for this one, it should be a cracking game!

Kadetten Schaffhausen vs Dunkerque HB Grand Littoral
Thursday 9 October, 20:00 hrs local time, live on ehfTV

It will be a battle between two suprises of the new campaign - a negative and a positive.

The former certainly are Dunkerque. The French champions were soundly beaten at home by Aalborg in the first round, and have somehow managed to squeeze past Motor Zaporozhye on matchday 2, but in Kiev things could have been very much different. Coach Cazal is struggling to find fluidity and consistency in attack - Dunkerque have scored only 44 golas in two matches with no particular player standing out.

Kadetten are still savouring a point from their visit to Aalborg - a point that could very well have been an upset victory, had not Emil Berggren scored in the very last second. They were designated to be group's cannon fodder, but their remarkable comeback from a 7 goal deficit in Denmark is a testament to their team spirit and never-say-die attitude.  

"Offer us as a finger, and we'll bite off your arm," is probably what the feeling is in Kadetten's locker room, appetites are bigger now in Switzerland and Dunkerque will have to show all of their potential - and a much better attacking form -  in order to secure another pair of points.

Aalborg Handball  (DEN) vs MOL-Pick Szeged (HUN)
Sunday 12 October, 16:50 local time, live on ehfTV

With Kielce well positioned as kings of Group D at the moment, which team are the princes? This question could well have an answer after the clash in Aalborg.

The Danish outfit started their campaign with excellence, overpowering Dunkerque away. That result promised a cakewalk against Kadetten in the following round. But Aalborg hit a wall in the second half and managed to waste a seven-goal lead after a nine minute period without scoring. Not only that - they merely managed salvage a point in the last second.

They had another difficult game in the derby during the week against Silkeborg in the domestic campaign. The score was tight again (23-22 to Aalborg) after a healthy half-time lead (14-10). The Reds hope that Emil Berggren, the saviour in the Kadetten match, will continue his good scoring streak. They will also count on Havard Tvedten adding his share of goals.

Szeged were sluggish in their first match against Motor, but have managed to secure first points. They tried to surprise Kielce in the previous round but they could only watch the hosts win 37:32. Zsolt Balogh and Dean Bombac (9 goals each) had a good performance though, and Szeged will expect them to repeat that.

Coach Pastor has managed to quickly shake off the blues from the match in Poland. Szeged have steamrolled past Oroshaza 39:25 during the week. To give Aalborg an headache, the Hungarian team will have to diversify its attacking threat. Jonas Källman and Roberto Garcia Parrondo on the wings are currently underutilised.

KS Vive Tauron Kielce (POL) vs HC Motor Zaporozhye (UKR)
Sunday 12 October, 20:00 local time, live on ehfTV

Kielce are firing on all cylinders and have a perfect record. They have cruised past Kadetten and Szeged by a comfortable +5 margin in the VELUX EHF Champions League. Their last victims were Stal Mielec in another rout - 34:23 was the away win in the Polish championship.

The defence is clicking and goals are pouring in from all positions, which makes coach Talant Dujshebaev a happy man. Complacency is always a danger, but the home crowd will take care of that.

Motor have been close to points both against Szeged and Dunkerque. But they are at the bottom with zero points after two calamitous finishes. It looks like their point tally will remain the same after the visit to Kielce. The excellent Richard Stochl in goal cannot do it all by himself and Sergii Burka needs more support in attack.

Anything other than a healthy home victory will be a huge sensation.

TEXT: Grega Sever / br