Clash of titans spearheads classic weekendArticle
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GROUP A/B PREVIEW: Vardar and Barça are vying for the Group A lead, while Zagreb and Celje meet in Group B for Match of the Week
»2018-19 Men's News

Clash of titans spearheads classic weekend

The game between HC Vardar and Barça Lassa on Sunday could become an instant classic, as the best defence in the group faces the best attack of the VELUX EHF Champions League 2018/19.

Vardar’s Spanish coach, Roberto Garcia Parrondo, might have never played for Barça, he surely knows a thing or two about Xavi Pascual’s side. This could prove decisive, as Vardar are trying to protect their unblemished home court record, where they won all three games played this season.

In Group B, PSG can extend their winning run to seven games, only two shy of their record in the competition, when they meet Flensburg-Handewitt in Paris. Also, Zagreb and Celje continue their eternal rivalry when they meet for Match of the Week in Croatia on Saturday.


HC Meshkov Brest (BLR) vs PGE Vive Kielce (POL)
Saturday 10 November, 16:00 hrs local time, live on

  • Kielce want to get back to winning ways after their four-game winning streak was snapped by Barça last week

  • Brest have lost their last four matches, having previously beaten Kristianstad and Montpellier, their rivals for sixth place

  • Kielce hope to rely again on left back Michal Jurecki, who missed the last game with a groin injury

  • Both teams met six times in the last three years: Kielce won five times, Brest once - in the group phase last season (28:25)

IFK Kristianstad (SWE) vs Telekom Veszprém HC (HUN)
Saturday 10 November, 18:45 hrs local time, live on

  • David Davis failed to win his first home game as Veszprém coach but can earn his second away win, after beating Montpellier

  • Kristianstad and Montpellier are the only teams without a win in Groups A/B

  • If Kristianstad win, it would be their 10th victory in the history of the competition

  • Veszprém stopped a three-game losing streak in all competition by beating Mezokovesdi 29:22 in the Hungarian league on Wednesday

HC Vardar (MKD) vs Barça Lassa (ESP)
Sunday 11 November, 17:00 hrs local time, live on

  • The best attack after Round 6 (Barça, 204 goals scored) faces the best defence in Groups A/B (Vardar, 155 goals conceded)

  • Barça are on a 16-game winning streak in all competitions, including a 45:31 drubbing of La Rioja in the Spanish league Wednesday

  • Vardar’s worst ever defeat in the competition (41:19) came against Barça in 2003

  • Barça won 10 of their 13 previous games against Vardar, but eventual champions Vardar triumphed in the 2017 semi-final (26:25)


MOTW: HC PPD Zagreb (CRO) vs RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko (SLO)
Saturday 10 November, 20:00 hrs local time, live on

  • A true classic of European handball, with Zagreb in their record 25th and Celje in their 23rd season in the continental top flight

  • They have met 18 times before, with Zagreb winning 10 and Celje seven matches

  • Celje are featuring in Match of the Week for the first time

Paris Saint-Germain HB (FRA) vs SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER)
Saturday 10 November, 13:00 hrs local time, live on

  • Both teams share a group for the fourth consecutive season

  • From their previous eight matches, PSG won five and Flensburg three

  • PSG line player Henrik Toft Hansen, who was with Flensburg for three years, will play his former club for the first time

  • PSG lead the table with the maximum of 12 points, Flenburg are fourth with six

Skjern Handbold (DEN) vs MOL-Pick Szeged (HUN)
Sunday 11 November, 16:50 hrs local time, live on

  • Both teams have not met before in a European Cup competition

  • Szeged suffered their first defeat last weekend, losing to PSG

  • Szeged are still in second place with 10 points, five more than fifth-ranked Skjern

HC Motor Zaporozhye (UKR) vs HBC Nantes (FRA)
Sunday 11 november, 17:00 hrs local time, live on

  • Before this season, Zaporozhye were the only team to have beaten Nantes at home

  • Nantes suffered their first defeat in the French league this season, against Chambéry on Wednesday

  • Zaporozhye are stuck on two points so far and want to use the two matches against Nantes to gain some more

TEXT: Adrian Costeiu, Kevin Domas / ew