Four-way tussle for remaining Last 16 berthsArticle
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GROUP D PREVIEW: Four teams are in a battle for the last two positions in the knock-out stage from Group D

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Four-way tussle for remaining Last 16 berths

Just two matters have already been already decided in Group D of the VELUX EHF Champions League as we head into the final round.

KS Vive Tauron Kielce are certain to win the group and MOL Pick Szeged are just as sure of finishing second.

The rest will be decided in the last set of matches. The remaining four teams in the group are all involved in the battle for the last two tickets for the Last 16, with all of them on six points. The pressure is on each of the four, but only Dunkerque and Aalborg know for sure that a win will put them through.

HC Motor Zaporozhye (UKR) vs KS Vive Tauron Kielce (POL)
Wednesday 15 February, 19:00 hrs local time live on ehfTV

Kielce are not only sure to proceed to the knockout phase of the competition, but will also to do so as winner of the group.

The big question is if this is going to see the Polish champions relax a bit in their last group game and maybe rest a few players.

If they do, that may be the chance for Zaporozhye, who are currently third in the group, to earn a much-needed win. A victory will put them on eight points, but they will have to wait for the weekend’s results to see if they qualify for the Last 16.

Dunkerque HB Grand Littoral (FRA) vs Kadetten Schaffhausen (SUI)
Saturday 21 February, 16:00 hrs local time live on ehfTV

Two of the four teams in a direct race for the last two knock-out-phase berths meet at Stade de Flandres on Saturday afternoon.

A win will be enough for Dunkerque, even if both Zaporoszhye and Aalborg win their games, while Kadetten will need other results to go their way as well as grapping the win. A draw may even be enough for both teams, granted Zaporozhye and Aalborg both lose.

Both teams will obviously know the outcome of Wednesday’s match between Zaporozhye and Kielce, when they enter the court Saturday, while they will have to wait until Sunday night for the last match in the group between Pick Szeged and Aalborg.

MOL-Pick Szeged (HUN) vs Aalborg Handball (DEN)
Sunday 22 February 19:00 hrs local time live on ehfTV

Pick Szeged are already certain of qualification for the Last 16 from second position in the group, so the Hungarian top team really do not have much more than their honour at stake in the Varosi Sportcarnok on Sunday evening.

The case is much more serious for their adversaries.

After their surprising 36:30 defeat at home to Zaporozhye in Round 9, Aalborg are in desperate need of a win in order to guarantee their Last 16 berth. However, the Danes have their fate in their own hands and they will not have to worry about other results should they pick up the two points.

Aalborg will need a much improved performance compared to their previous meeting with the EHF Cup champions, where they lost 25:28 at home.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / cor