Metz and Esbjerg to duel for top spotArticle
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GROUP 1 PREVIEW: The clash between the French and Danish champions will determine the group leaders, with Rostov looming just one point behind
»2019-20 Women's News

Metz and Esbjerg to duel for top spot

Team Esbjerg claimed their second straight win in the DELO WOMEN’S EHF Champions League main round last week and joined Metz Handball on eight points, as the French champions had their unbeaten streak in the competition ended by CSM.

The two group 1 leaders will clash for the top position in Metz on Sunday.

If their game ends in a draw, third-placed Rostov-Don could leapfrog them both on goal difference if they have beaten FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria by at least five goals a day before.

Also on Saturday, the match between Vipers and CSM could be vital to both teams’ chances for a place in the quarter-final.

Vipers Kristiansand (NOR) vs CSM Bucuresti (ROU)
Saturday 8 February, 19:00 CET, live on

  • the two teams exchanged away wins in the group matches last season, 29:27 for CSM and 31:26 for Vipers
  • Vipers and CSM are level on five points
  • Vipers lost both main round matches, against Esbjerg and Rostov
  • CSM impressed last week by beating Metz with Cristina Neagu scoring 14 goals

FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria (HUN) vs Rostov-Don (RUS)
Saturday 8 February, 20:00 CET, live on

  • from their eight previous encounters, Rostov won six times, FTC once, and there was one draw
  • both teams met in the CL quarter-final in each of the past two seasons, with Rostov winning all four legs
  • Rostov are third with seven points, FTC last with three
  • Rostov right back Anna Vyakhireva missed the last two matches due to illness but could make her comeback

Metz Handball (FRA) vs Team Esbjerg (DEN)
Sunday 9 February, 15:00 CET, live on

  • the two teams share the group lead with eight points each, but Metz have the better goal difference: +13 vs +5
  • Metz had their seven-match unbeaten streak ended by CSM last week, and also lost in the French league, 23:19 at Paris 92
  • Esbjerg are the only team in group 1 to have won both main round games so far
  • the two teams have not met before in a European Cup competition

TEXT: Sergey Nikolaev / ew