Danish champions hope to stun CSM once againArticle
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ROUND PREVIEW: Nykøbing Falster aim to replicate their sensational win against CSM Bucuresti in the previous round, as the second half of Women’s EHF Champions League Group Matches begin
 

Danish champions hope to stun CSM once again

After the past weekend off, the Women’s EHF Champions League Group Matches restart this week with the reverse fixtures of the previous round. The first teams to qualify for the main round could be found this weekend.

• CSM Bucuresti and Györ hope to avenge their defeats in the previous round
• HC Vardar and Metz Handball can both secure a main round berth
• Larvik, Brest and Vistal Gdynia are still chasing their first points


GROUP A
CSM Bucuresti (ROU) vs NFH – Nykøbing Falster Håndboldklub (DEN)
Saturday 4 November, 16:00 local time, live on ehftv.com

Nykøbing pulled one of the biggest surprises so far this season, when they defeated CSM 25:22 at home on October 22 – and the Danish champions are ready to stun the favourites again when they visit Bucharest on Saturday.

“There is no doubt that CSM are under heavy pressure after losing against us, and they simply have to perform at home, but we are going to try to benefit from that pressure,” Nykøbing coach Jakob Larsen tells ehfcl.com.

He realises that CSM will probably be more rested than his players, as the Romanian champions have no matches during the week, while Nykøbing played Danish league games on Monday and Wednesday this week.

“We will also have a journey behind us when entering the court, so we will obviously be more exhausted than them, but our girls never back down, and we will be chasing another surprise,” adds Larsen.

Both teams are on four points before the meeting in the Romanian capital.

Other Group A matches:
RK Krim Mercator (SLO) vs Vistal Gdynia (POL)
Saturday 4 November, 15:00 local time, live on ehftv.com

GROUP B
Györi Audi ETO KC (HUN) vs Rostov-Don (RUS)
Monday 6 November, 19:00 local time, live on ehftv.com

Györi Audi ETO KC suffered their first defeat this season when they lost 23:22 away to Rostov-Don on the October 21.

With that result, the Russian champions made up for their surprising 24:21 defeat away against FC Midtjylland in the previous match.

Györ will be chasing revenge in Audi Arena on Monday evening, but it may not be easy as things have not exactly gone the Hungarian team’s way lately.

On Tuesday this week, the defending Champions League title holders lost 27:25 away against their archrivals FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria in the Hungarian league.

“We have no time to weep however, as we have this important Champions League match against Rostov coming up,” said Györ coach Ambros Martin after the loss.

On top of this, Györ are hampered by injuries at the moment. Back court players Nycke Groot, Anne Mette Hansen and Zsuzsanna Tomori are just a few of the players sidelined for the time being.

Other Group B match:
FC Midtjylland (DEN) vs Brest Bretagne Handball (FRA)
Saturday 4 October, 13:30 local time, live on ehftv.com

GROUP C
HC Vardar (MKD) vs Larvik (NOR)
Saturday 4 November, 17:00 local time, live on ehftv.com

Undefeated HC Vardar can take their final step toward the main round with another win against Larvik on Saturday.

Larvik, who are one of only three teams in the tournament yet to have won any points, have suffered their biggest defeats in Champions League history against Vardar. One of those came in Larvik on October 21, when Vardar won as clearly as 31:19 in Boligmappe Arena.

Still, Vardar coach Irina Dibirova is cautious ahead of the meeting in Sport Centre Jane Sandanski.

“They (Larvik) are a young team in a shift of generations, but this does not mean that it will be an easy task for us. Their players may be young, but they still have good shooters, and they are fast in their counter attacks,” Dibirova told her club’s official website.

“We saw that in Norway, where we had problems every time we made a mistake. We will have to reduce that number of mistakes; then everything will be fine.”

Other Group C match:
FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria (HUN) vs Thüringer HC (GER)
Saturday 4 November, 15:00 local time, live on ehftv.com

GROUP D
Buducnost (MNE) vs Metz Handball (FRA)
Saturday 4 November, 19:30 local time, live on ehftv.com
 
Just like Vardar in Group C, Metz Handball can clinch their main round berth as early as this Saturday. A win in Podgorica will be all that it takes, but this may be difficult.

Buducnost took their only victory in the group matches so far with a clear 32:24 result at home against German champions Bietigheim. When Metz and Buducnost met in Les Arenes in Metz, the French champions came out on top, but they encountered trouble along the way before landing a 27:23 win.

Buducnost would be well advised to keep an extra eye on Ana Gros. The Slovenian right back scored no less than 10 goals in the first meeting between the two teams, and she repeated this achievement when Metz played away against France’s other representative in the Champions League, Brest Bretagne, on Wednesday. With 10 goals from 11 attempts, Gros played a considerable part in Metz winning the top clash 30:26.

Previous Round 4 result:
SG BBM Bietigheim (GER) vs Vipers Kristiansand (NOR) 25:24


TEXT: Peter Bruun / cg
 
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