Thriller to be expected in BrondbyArticle
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GROUP B PREVIEW: There is every reason to expect a thriller when KIF Kolding Kobenhavn and FC Barcelona meet in the absolute top game. The Round 4 action starts on Thursday in Istanbul.

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Thriller to be expected in Brondby

It is justified to have high expectations ahead of the absolute top game of the group between KIF Kolding and FC Barcelona in Brondbyhallen by Copenhagen Sunday afternoon, where the only two undefeated teams in the group meet.

Defending VELUX EHF Champions League winners SG Flensburg-Handewitt will need two points in order to keep up with the top teams, as they travel to Istanbul to meet Besiktas MOGAZ HT already Thursday.

Orlen Wisla Plock and Alingsas HK are also both in need of points when they meet in Poland on Sunday.

Besiktas MOGAZ HT (TUR) vs SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER)
Thursday 16 October at 20:30 hrs local time, live on

If Besiktas should keep the hope alive to reach the knock-out rounds in the first Champions League campaign in history, they will need a home win against Flensburg.

With zero points after the first three matches, it is beginning to be the last chance for the team from Istanbul.

However, it is a big question if the Turkish champions can accomplish that. After a rather shaky start to the season, Flensburg seem to have found to their play, and even though the North German team are still missing the young Swedish playmaker Jim Gottfridsson, they still travel to Turkey as clear favourites.

Orlen Wisla Plock (POL) vs Alingsas HK (SWE)
Sunday 19 October at 15:30 hrs local time, live on

It will be two teams in need of points who meet in the Orlen Arena Sunday afternoon.

With two points after their first three matches, Wisla Plock are still among the four teams who qualify for the Last 16, but if they want to qualify from a higher position than the fourth place, a home win in this game is a must.

Alingsas, for their part, will have to begin getting some points soon, if they should be able to go on hoping for the knock-out matches.

Plock are obvious favourites, but a surprise from the young and unimpressed Swedish champions cannot be ruled out completely.

One of the most remarkable young talents in the Swedish team is U 18 international Felix Claar who impressed everyone by scoring five goals against KIF Kolding Kobenhavn in Alingsas' latest Champions League match.

“We are looking forward to the challenge. It will be difficult, but I do not see it as impossible to get a point or two,” 17-year-old Felix Claar tells

KIF Kolding Kobenhavn (DEN) vs FC Barcelona (ESP)
Sunday 19 October at 16.50 hrs local time, Match of the Week, live on

If Barcelona have slightly mixed emotions about playing in Denmark, it is understandable, as the Spanish top team has a few bad memories from the homeland of their line player Jesper Nøddesbo.

In the 2007/08 season, Barcelona lost 35:33 in Odense to GOG in the main round of the EHF Champions League, and in the quarter-final of the VELUX EHF Champions League in the 2011/12 season, they lost 29:23 to AG Kobenhavn in Parken in Copenhagen. That defeat was the start of Barcelona's exit from the tournament that season.

In between was a fortunate 25:25 draw away against KIF Kolding in the group phase of the 2010/11 season. With 12 seconds left, Lukas Karlsson gave Kolding the 25:24 lead, but with three seconds left, Laszlo Nagy saved a point for Barcelona.

When the two teams meet in front of more than 5,000 spectators in Brondbyhallen by Copenhagen, it will be the absolute top game of the group so far. Both teams have six points after their first three matches, and both teams can look back on three clear wins.

Based on a look at the squads, Barcelona appear to be favourites, but Kolding have been extremely convincing lately, and the support from the home crowd may bring them far.

Earlier this week, former Danish international and former head coach in SG Flensburg-Handewitt, Erik Veje Rasmussen who is now coach by Danish league team Aarhus Handbold, characterised KIF as “the best team I have ever seen in this country”, so Barcelona should probably watch out.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / br