French and Croatian champions aim for first winArticle
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GROUP B PREVIEW: The Group of draws is back in action with Ferencváros playing host to Thüringer while Fleury Loiret and Podravka lock horns for the first win in the season.

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French and Croatian champions aim for first win

The most balanced group of the Women's EHF Champions League has made up for the expectations: almost all games are evenly contested, tense encounters and Round 4 promises to be just like the previous ones.

Ferencváros welcome Thüringer once again in Budapest and Fleury Loiret are heavy favourites to claim their first ever Champions League victory.

FTC-Rail Cargo Hungária (HUN) vs Thüringer HC (GER)
Saturday 7 November, 18.00 hours, live on ehfTV

Ferencváros beat Thüringer in Nordhausen last week but the huge win came at a price: the Hungarian champion lost their inspirational leader, Zita Szucsánszki due to an ankle injury.

The absence of the middle back might be good news for Thüringer but FTC won the midweek derby against Györ without her, which speaks volumes about the strength of Grour B leaders.

Injury hit Thüringer still lack consistency but last week the German champions showed quality in some periods of the game against Ferencváros. After a bad start Svenja Huber and Kerstin Wohlbold inspired a great comeback for the home side, who were trailing by just one goal ten minutes from the final whistle but could not take the last step and eventually lost.

FTC always have Melinda Szikora to rely on in times of trouble, the Hungarian goalkeeper is in great shape and played a huge part in her team’s win in Germany.

Thüringer had a lot of chances to score but could not find a way past Szikora and the task will not be any easier away from home.

Especially on Saturday, when Ferencváros will not take the game to Dabas (about 40 km from Budapest) but remain in the capital. The German outfit will have to do well in the hot atmosphere of the Syma Hall if the visitors want to remain in the race for the top spot of the group.

Fleury Loiret Handball (FRA) vs HC Podravka Vegeta (CRO)
Sunday 8 November, 17:30 hours, live on ehfTV

Unbeaten but winless Fleury Loiret played three draws to start their maiden Women’s EHF Champions League season, but the French champions were extremely unlucky not to win any of their first three games.

Podravka, who snatched their first point of the season in a thrilling endgame against Fleury, have to continue to improve as they did after the first two rounds. The Croatian team’s defence started to work well backed by the magnificent Ivana Kapitanovic (pictured above), who played a crucial part in Podravka’s hard fought draw.

However, the French Panthers are favourites to get their first win, which could send them to second place and this season’s top scorer Alexandrina Cabral Barbosa will aim to make the fans in Orleans happy.

TEXT: Bence Mártha / br