Löwen and Vardar to battle out second spot in Group CArticle
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GROUP C PREVIEW: There are only two teams left in the group of death that have reasons to play for, a draw would be enough for Vardar to remain second.

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Löwen and Vardar to battle out second spot in Group C

The fact that ony two of the six teams in the VELUX EHF Champions League Group C can still change their positions in the group does not mean that Montpellier vs Veszprém (teams who have already qualified) and Celje vs Medvedi (teams who are both out) will not show quality handball. But if you are after the thrills Löwen-Vardar is your choice.


Rhein-Neckar Löwen (GER) vs HC Vardar (MKD)
Saturday 21 February, 21:00 hrs local time, live on ehfTV.com

Having recovered from a loss of form Löwen can finish the group stage on a high note: all the home side have to do is beat Vardar by a larger margin than their 28:25 defeat in Skopje. This, however, is no piece of cake even for a team that gave Veszprem a huge beating in the seventh round.

Vardar only lost once by such a margin (32:24 in Veszprém) and judging by the form of their rock solid defence and Arpad Sterbik Löwen are in for a tough test.

The German outfit may also be counting on their massive wall backed by an equally excellent goalkeeper, Niklas Landin as Löwen are likely to try to overrun their opponents.

Anything is possible in this huge game but only one thing is for sure. Whoever finishes third any runner-up from Pot 2 of the Tuesday's draw will be very disappointed to pick them.

RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko (SLO) vs Chekhovskie Medvedi (RUS)
Saturday 21 February, 19:00 hrs local time, live on ehfTV.com

Those who have seen this young Celje side play their game this year will really miss the Slovenian outfit from the competition. Celje are out but we could say with some confidence that Group C was the only group they could not qualify from.

Medvedi also introduced some brilliant talents but the Russian champions’ heroics were only enough to make most of their rivals work for their money. Both teams suffered defeats from the hands of Löwen and Veszprem but neither gave up without a fight.

Medvedi are with one point and cannot leapfrog Celje even if they manage to win at Zlatorog. Celje won by five goals away in Chekhov and they seem to be the stronger team.

Montpellier Agglomeration HB (FRA) vs MKB-MVM Veszprem (HUN)
Sunday 22 February, 17:00 hrs local time, live on ehftv.com

The French team had a troubled fall season, injuries denied Montpellier from finishing higher than fourth but they are eager to prove how strong they are. Veszprem have lost part of their confidence for the run-in, after their defeat in Löwen the Hungarian champions had a hard time beating Celje, too.

The group winners also had to fight hard to catch Montpellier at home, the 30:29 victory came in the dying minutes of the game and the French team was heavily hit by injuries. Veszprem won their group in the third year running, however, they tend to lose focus after the first spot is sealed: last year they lost at Motor, three years ago in Chekhov.

As one would expect from such a strong group one of the group winners will not be very happy to play against Montpellier, who are back in full strength and eager to prove their worth.

TEXT: Bence Martha / br