In-form Löwen welcome struggling championsArticle
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MIDWEEK PREVIEW: Three matches with serious implications on their respective groups take place on Wednesday and Thursday

In-form Löwen welcome struggling champions

Rhein-Neckar Löwen have a chance to join Barça and Vardar on top of VELUX EHF Champions League Group A if they can overcome struggling defending champions Montpellier on Wednesday.

Thursday’s pair of matches are crucial clashes in the race for the Group C/D Play-offs.

Rhein-Neckar Löwen (GER) vs Montpellier HB (FRA)
Wednesday 7 November, 19:00hrs local time, live on

  • Löwen won three of their last four games and are now third in the group, only two points behind Barça and Vardar. The German side hold a 100% record at home
  • Montpellier picked up their first point of the season last week, in a 29:29 draw against Kristianstad, but are still without the last season’s VELUX EHF FINAL 4 MVP, Diego Simonet, who is nursing a foot injury
  • The French side is winless after six games and can beat their worst-ever streak without a win – six games between February and March 2016 - if they fail to win on Wednesday
  • Montpellier have only one win in six games against Rhein-Neckar Löwen in the European premium competition, 29:27, eight years ago, in the quarter-finals of the competition

HC Metalurg (MKD) vs Sporting CP (POR)
Thursday 8 November, 19:00 hrs local time, live on

  • Metalurg aim to build on the first group phase win against Medvedi on Sunday, while Sporting CP suffered a crucial loss to Tatran Presov but remain second in the group
  • “The match with Sporting will be really difficult, because they are a serious team with a huge experience,” says HC Metalurg coach Danilo Brestovac
  • Brestovac will rely on Nikola Danilovski, who made 16 saves against Medvedi and was the key to the win
  • Sporting CP need to work on the aggressiveness in front of goal as this was lacking in last weekend’s defeat

Dinamo Bucuresti (ROU) vs Abanca Ademar Leon (ESP)
Thursday 8 November, 18:00 hrs local time, live on

  • A key match in an incredibly tight battle at the top of Group D with Leon one point ahead of a trio of teams in second place
  • When the sides met in September, the Spanish side came from behind to win 31:28
  • Dinamo hold a perfect winning record at home this season, while Leon have a mixed bag of away results with three points from as many games
  • Bucharest have the best attacking record in the group, but will be severely tested by the Ademar defence, which has conceded the fewest goals in the entire competition

TEXT: Adrian Costeiu, Tomas Cuncik, Chris O'Reilly / cor