PSG hope to bounce back; Elverum and Zagreb target first pointsArticle
«Go back

GROUP A/B PREVIEW: Elverum and Zagreb battle to open their 2019/20 records, while Porto host Montpellier for the Match of the Week with the Portuguese side looking to keep their perfect home record alive
»2019-20 Men's News

PSG hope to bounce back; Elverum and Zagreb target first points

In VELUX EHF Champions League group A, Paris Saint-Germain HB lost the top spot on the table when Barça won against Flensburg in the first game of the round on Wednesday – but the French team could level with the Spanish side if they are to beat Aalborg on Saturday.

At the bottom of the ranking, Elverum Handball and HC PPD Zagreb are the only two teams in the competition not to have won a point yet. One of the two – or maybe both – will open their record on Sunday night, making a move to remain in the race for Last 16 qualification.

In group B, the round 6 Match of the Week sees FC Porto Sofarma, who are unbeaten at home this season, host Montpellier HB in a game that could prove pivotal for the French side’s ambitions.

On Saturday, there will be a reunion between Talant Dujshebaev and his former player, David Davis, as Telekom Veszprém HC look for their third win in a row, against PGE VIVE Kielce, while table leaders THW Kiel aim to continue improving their form when they meet winless HC Motor Zaporozhye.

Paris Saint-Germain HB (FRA) vs Aalborg Handbold (DEN)
Saturday 2 November, 17:15 CET, live on

  • Aalborg lost their first Danish league game of the season on Wednesday

  • Paris and Aalborg have never played against each other in European competitions

  • Aalborg’s top scorer, Sebastian Barthold, has netted 33 times so far – 10 more than Nedim Remili, PSG’s leading scorer

  • This will be the first time Henrik Møllgaard, who played for PSG for three seasons, will meet his former club

  • It was announced last week that Aalborg’s goalkeeper, Kristian Saeveraas, would join Bundesliga team Leipzig next summer

MOL-Pick Szeged (HON) vs RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko (SLO)
Sunday 3 November, 17:00 CET, live on

  • Szeged are currently fourth in group A, with seven points, while Celje are sixth, having just opened their record against Elverum in round 5

  • With 151 goals received, the Slovenian side had the least effective defensive record of the group after round 5

  • Out of the eight confrontations between the teams, Szeged won five and Celje two, while one ended in a draw

  • Szeged are currently top of the Hungarian league, level with Veszprém, while Celje are undefeated and lead the Slovenian league

Elverum Handball vs RK PPD Zagreb (CRO)
Sunday 3 November, 19:00 CET, live on

  • Neither of these teams have been able to take any points so far in the season

  • With 114 and 106 goals scored, respectively, Elverum and Zagreb had the two least prolific offences of the Champions League after round 5

  • This will be the first time the sides meet in a European competition

  • It was recently announced that Elverum left back Sebastian Henneberg will join fellow group A team Aalborg at the end of the season

MOTW: FC Porto Sofarma (POR) vs Montpellier HB (FRA)
Saturday 2 November, 19:30 CET, live on

  • Two weeks ago, Kiel ended Montpellier’s three-game winning streak as they took a 33:30 victory over the French side

  • The 2017/18 champions remain third in the group standings, level with Veszprém and Vardar on six points

  • All of Porto’s five points this season came in home games. The Portuguese side have lost only one of their last eight matches in their own arena

  • Montpellier left back, Gilberto Duarte, will return to Porto for the first time as an opponent, after donning the club’s shirt from 2007 to 2016

  • There are no previous encounters between the sides in any European competitions

PGE Vive Kielce (POL) vs Telekom Veszprém HC (HUN)
Saturday 2 November, 15:00 CET, live on

  • Following two consecutive losses, Veszprém bounced back with two superb home wins – 38:28 against Porto and 39:30 versus Vardar

  • After five rounds, the Hungarian side have the second most effective attack in the competition, with 166 goals scored

  • Veszprém lost their only away game this season, 23:18, against Montpellier in round 3

  • Kielce’s tactical ace, Talant Dujshebaev, coached Veszprém coach David Davis between 2005 and 2013 at Ciudad Real and Atletico Madrid

  • Davis stated that Dujshebaev was a big influence in his career, saying there was “so much to learn from him”

  • The sides have faced each other 12 times in the premium European competition, with Veszprém taking nine wins, including the 33:30 result in the semi-final last season

HC Vardar (MKD) vs HC Meshkov Brest (BLR)
Sunday 3 November, 17:00 CET, live on

  • After a start that saw them earn three wins, Vardar collapsed in the past two games, losing against Kiel, 20:31, and Veszprém, 39:30

  • Brest have won only once in the past 16 away games in the top European competition

  • The Macedonian side have lost four of their last 20 home matches in the VELUX EHF Champions League

  • Vardar and Brest have met in the competition four times, with Vardar taking two wins, Brest one and one game ending in a draw

HC Motor Zaporozhye (UKR) vs THW Kiel (GER)
Sunday 3 November, 17:00 CET, live on

  • Motor earned their first point in round 5, with a 35:35 draw against Porto, but are now facing first-placed Kiel

  • The Ukrainian side’s last win in the VELUX EHF Champions League came eight games ago, 33:23, against Skjern, in February 2019

  • Kiel are unbeaten this season, winning the last four games, to record their best start in the competition since the 2009/10 season

  • The two sides have met twice in the premium European competition, with Kiel taking two wins, 31:28 and 40:28

TEXT: Kevin Domas / Adrian Costeiu / cg