Györ hoping to bounce back at Baia MareArticle
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ROUND PREVIEW: After their first defeat in almost two years, the two-time champions head to Romania in search of two big points in the race for the Women's EHF Champions League Quarter-finals

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Györ hoping to bounce back at Baia Mare

After their one goal away win against Györ on Sunday, Larvik are the only undefeated team in Group 2 of the Women’s EHF Champions League.

Saturday night, they can take a decisive step towards the quarter-finals through a home win in the Scandinavian derby against Viborg HK.

Already on Friday, two teams who are under pressure in the race for the quarter-finals, meet in France, as Metz Handball take on IK Sävehof.

HCM Baia Mare got off to a good start in the main round with their one-goal win in Sweden against Sävehof, but the Romanian champions may have difficulties in following up on their good start when Györ come to town for Sunday evening’s encounter.

Women’s EHF Champions League Main Round Group 2

Metz Handball (FRA) vs IK Sävehof (SWE)
Friday 6 February at 19:00 local time live on ehfTV

Both teams had a poor start to the main round, suffering narrow defeats. Metz were not able to win away against a heavily depleted Viborg team, going down 27:26, while Sävehof also opened their main round campaign with a defeat at home in Partillebohallen, losing 28:26 to HCM Baia Mare.

This defeat sent Sävehof down to the sixth and last position in the group with just one point, so the team under head coach Henrik Signell is under pressure to stay in contention for a quarter-final berth.

Lying fourth in the group with four points, French champions Metz still have a very good chance to proceed to the quarter-finals, but a home defeat against Sävehof will make things considerably more complicated, while a win in the Palais Omnisports Les Arenes will give the hosts a big push towards the knock-out rounds.

Larvik (NOR) vs Viborg HK (DEN)
Saturday 7 February at 18:30 local time live on ehfTV

Through their impressive 26:25 away win against Györ on Sunday, Larvik gave themselves some breathing space at the top of Group 2.

On Saturday evening, head coach Ole Gustav Gjekstad´s ladies will be trying not only to stay undefeated, but also seal their quarter-final berth, when they welcome Danish champions Viborg to Arena Larvik for a Scandinavian derby.

Viborg boosted their quarter-final hopes thanks to a 27:26 win at home against Metz on Monday and sit third in the group with five points. The champions from 2006, 2009 and 2010 are in a good position to proceed in the tournament, even with a defeat in Norway.

“We can play freely as no one expects us to win. Even if we did not have six or seven injured players, nobody could really expect us to win,” says Viborg veteran Rikke Skov, who can look forward to having Serbian international Sanja Damnjanovic back from injury for the match in Larvik.

“We must be favourites in that match, and we take that status upon us, but Viborg are still a strong team in international handball,” Larvik´s assistant coach Tor Odvar Moen says.

HCM Baia Mare (ROU) vs Györi Audi ETO KC (HUN)
Sunday 8 February at 18:30 local time live on ehfTV

Baia Mare gained two crucial points through their away win against Sävehof in their first main round match.

Thanks to that victory, the Romanian champions got some points onto their account and kept their chances of reaching the quarter-finals alive.

However, Baia Mare are still two points adrift of fourth place Metz, so they are still in need of points. Another victory will be hard to come by when reigning champions Györ are the visitors on Sunday evening.

There is no doubt that Györ will be extremely eager to revenge the opening 26:25 home defeat to Larvik in their opening match of the main round.

So far, the Hungarian league leaders are in no danger of missing the quarter-finals, but the team haunted by injuries will have to start collecting points soon in order to stay in the top two and secure a favourable quarter-final tie.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / cor