Top match in Ukraine, while Kadetten struggle to catch upArticle
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GROUP D PREVIEW: HC Motor Zaprorozhye can take huge step towards play-off on Saturday.

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Top match in Ukraine, while Kadetten struggle to catch up

HC Motor Zaporozhye, who are currently leading Group D, can take a huge step towards the play-off for the Last 16 in case of a home win against HCM Baia Mare on Saturday.

Kadetten Schaffhausen will need a home win against HC Metalurg already Thursday night in order to keep the play-off hope alive, and Skjern Handbold are in just as much need of a victory in the Scandinavian derby at home against Elverum on Sunday.

Kadetten Schaffhausen (SUI) vs HC Metalurg (MKD)
Thursday 19 November, 20:00 hrs local time, live on ehfTV

Two away wins in a row, against Skjern and Elverum, have boosted Kadetten's chances for a play-off berth after a poor start to their Champions League campaign this season.

On Thursday night, the Swiss champions can take a further step towards one of the two play-off positions in the group by defeating HC Metalurg in the BBC Arena of Schaffhausen.

Being on seven points after seven matches, Kadetten are in need of win against Metalurg who are on four.

Metalurg coach Lino Cervar admits that his team is out of the race for the knock-out, but he promises Kadetten that they will have to fight for the points.

“After our defeat against Motor in Skopje last week, we have lost our chance to reach the next round, but we never lose our motivation.

“After four losses in a row, all with a dramatic finish, we want to try and play another good match in Schaffhausen.

“They are a good team with a good chance to reach the next round, and for sure, they are favourites in this match, as they play at home, but we are still ready for a big fight,” Lino Cervar tells

HC Motor Zaporozhye (UKR) vs HCM Baia Mare (ROU)
Saturday 21 November, 18:00 hrs local time, live on ehfTV

Before the match, Motor find themselves on top of the group with ten points, one point clear of Skjern and their opponents on Saturday, Baia Mare.

This obviously means, that with three matches left, the Ukrainian outfit can take a gigantic step towards the knock-out stage in case of a win against one of their closest rivals.

When the two teams met in Romania, Baia Mare won 35:20, but several changes have taken place by the Romanian champions in the meantime.

The club has said goodbye to coach Lars Walther as well as to the back court players Ionut Ramba and Cristian Ghita, but still, the current number seven in the Romanian league have stayed at the top of the group in their first Champions League season ever.

After their 28:28 draw at home against Skjern last Sunday, Baia Mare are in need of a point or two in order to stay in touch with the top.

Skjern Handbold (DEN) vs Elverum Handball Herrer (NOR)
Sunday 22 November, 16:50 hrs local time, live on ehfTV

Through their 28:28 draw away against Baia Mare, Skjern defended their second place in the group.

The Danish team has nine points just like the Romanian champions, but Skjern are better in the internal matches between the two sides.

Sunday afternoon, Skjern are clear favourites in the Scandinavian derby against Elverum in the Skjern Bank Arena.

Skjern won the first match in Norway as big as 37:23, and ahead of the match in Skjern, six points are separating Skjern in second position and Elverum who are last in the group.

Skjern's right back Kasper Søndergaard is in no doubt of the importance of a win Sunday.

“It was an extremely important point we got with us from Romania. If we win at home against Elverum, things will look very good for us.

“Of course, this will not mean that we are in the play-off yet, far from. We still have two difficult matches after the Sunday game – first away against

Metalurg, against whom we had big problems at home, and then at home against Zaporozhye, with whom we had even bigger problems.

“Therefore, we know, that there is still a long way for us to go,” the former Danish international told Skjern's website.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / br