Skjern and Motor race for the top spotArticle
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GROUP D PREVIEW: Only the group win still remains to be decided

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Skjern and Motor race for the top spot

Before the last match in Group D, it is already a fact that HC Motor Zaporozhye and Skjern Handbold will proceed to the play-off matches for the Last 16.

The two teams are going to decide the group win between them, when they meet in Skjern on Sunday afternoon.

The other two matches in the group have only cosmetic significance.

Already on Thursday night, Kadetten Schaffhausen are receiving HCM Baia Mare, whilst Elverum will be receiving HC Metalurg on Sunday.

Kadetten Schaffhausen (SUI) vs HCM Baia Mare (ROU)
Thursday 3 December, 20:00 hrs local time

Both teams lost their last chance to reach the play-off matches last weekend.

To Kadetten, a 31:23 defeat in Ukraine meant that the Swiss champions had to see HC Motor Zaporozhye clinch their play-off berth, while a surprising 29:24 defeat at home against Elverum robbed Baia Mare of their last hope to proceed in the tournament.

On Thursday night, both teams will be licking their wounds in the BBC Arena of Schaffhausen, both trying to end their Champions League campaign this season with a win in a match, where the third place in the group is also at stake.

Both teams are at nine points before the match, and as the first meeting between them ended in a 31:31 draw, the winner on Thursday night will take the third position.

In case of another draw, away goals will decide.

Elverum Handball Herrer (NOR) vs HC Metalurg (MKD)
Sunday 6 December, 15:15 hrs local time, live one ehfTV

Avoiding the last place in the group is at stake in Terningen Arena of Elverum on Sunday afternoon.

Before the match, Metalurg are last with four points, with Elverum one point ahead of them.

At least to Elverum, avoiding the bottom position would mean a lot.

“Absolutely, and we got a lot of confidence from our win in Baia Mare, which might have been our greatest performance ever,” Elverum coach Mikael Apelgren tells

“Actually, I think we have done well in most of our Champions League matches, and I think we deserved more points than we have got.”

Anyway, we waited six years to qualify for the Champions League, and even if we should have to wait another six years for our next appearance in the tournament, we will do everything to finish this adventure with a win,” promises Apelgren.

Skjern Handbold (DEN) vs HC Motor Zaporozhye (UKR)
Sunday 6 December 16:50 hrs local time, live on ehfTV

Both teams clinched their play-off berth last weekend.

Motor made the last step through a 31:23 win at home against Kadetten Schaffhausen, while Skjern booked the ticket for the next round in Skopje, where HC Metalurg were defeated 25:24.

However, the first place in the group is still at stake, and according to Skjern captain Thomas Klitgaard, it will mean a lot to the home team to win the group.

“It will mean that we will avoid Brest in the play-off. That will save us a long trip to Belarus, apart from the fact that Brest is probably the strongest team in Group C,” explains the experienced line player who believes strongly in the win which Skjern will need to finish on top, while a draw will do for Motor.

“Actually, I see us as favourites against Motor. Apart from a single fall out at home against Schaffhausen, I think we have done well in our Champions League matches so far. That goes for our match in Ukraine too, even though we lost (31:26) and I definitely expect us to win on Sunday,” adds Thomas Klitgaard.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / br