Benfica and Melsungen clash for top positionArticle
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ROUND PREVIEW: Six matches are still ahead in round 2 of the Men’s EHF Cup, and Danish sides are already under pressure

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Benfica and Melsungen clash for top position

After round 2 of the last EHF Cup group phase in history started with a victory for Magdeburg and a draw between Berlin and Tatabanya in the midweek matches, the remaining six games will be staged on Saturday and Sunday. 

In group A, the winners of the first round clash, as do the losing sides. In group B, Liberbank Cuenca and Rhein-Neckar Löwen aim to add a second victory to their accounts, while HBC Nantes do the same in group C. 

In group D, BM Logroño La Rioja and PAUC Handball look for their first points in a direct encounter, after both lost their opening matches. 

SL Benfica (POR) vs MT Melsungen (GER)
Saturday 15 February, 17:15 CET, live on

  • SL Benfica achieved a surprising victory, 33:24, at Bjerringbro-Silkeborg on match day one

  • Melsungen had a difficult win, 26:21, against Gwardia Opole in the group phase opener

  • Benfica’s Petar Djordjic is among the top 10 scorers of the competition, with 18 goals 

  • SL Benfica’s Danish line player Rene Toft Hansen will be meeting his compatriot Lasse Mikkelsen, centre back for Melsungen 

KPR Gwardia Opole (POL) vs Bjerringbro-Silkeborg (DEN) 
Sunday 16 February, 19:00 CET, live on

  • Gwardia Opole look for their first victory in what is their debut EHF Cup group phase campaign and their first home match in this stage of the competition

  • after reaching the play-offs in the VELUX EHF Champions League last season, Bjerringbro-Silkeborg are back in the EHF Cup, but the opening match in the group phase saw a decisive loss to Benfica

  • Gwardia Opole won 24:21 away against MMTS Kwidzyn in the Polish League on Wednesday

  • Bjerringbro-Silkeborg were defeated by one goal at the hands of Ribe-Esbjerg in the Danish League on Thursday

USAM Nimes Gard (FRA) vs Liberbank Cuenca (ESP) 
Saturday 15 February, 18.30 CET, live on

  • the European debutants opened their group phase campaign with a narrow 32:31 away defeat against Rhein-Neckar Löwen, after leading for large parts of the match

  • Cuenca defeated last season’s final tournament participants TTH Holstebro 29:27 at home in their opening group match

  • both teams won their domestic league games on Wednesday – Nimes 35:28 away against Creteil in the Lidl Starligue, and Cuenca 30:21 versus Puente Genil at home in the ASOBAL League


TTH Holstebro (DEN) vs Rhein-Neckar Löwen (GER) 
Saturday 15 February, 19.30 CET, live on 

  • both teams were part of the final tournament in the Men’s EHF Cup in the 2012/13 season, but did not meet each other

  • Holstebro lost their opening match in Spain against Liberbank Cuenca, 29:27, while Rhein-Neckar Löwen had some trouble winning 32:31 at home against European debutants USAM Nimes Gard

  • Holstebro have left back Jonas Porup back in the team after he missed the opener. There is still doubt about right back Nikolaj Enderleit

  • Holstebro lost 23:21 away to reigning Danish champions Aalborg on Wednesday night. Löwen drew with Wetzlar in the Bundesliga

RK Gorenje Velenje (SLO) vs HBC Nantes (FRA)
Sunday 16 February, 18:45 CET, live on

  • The sides have never duelled in any official match before

  • Velenje lost their opener at Magdeburg 26:32, while Nantes beat Leon 34:28

  • Velenje (2015) and Nantes (2013, 2016) have both been part of EHF Cup Finals, but never won the trophy

  • Nantes’ new arrival, Slovenian Rok Ovnicek, and Bosnian-born line player Senjamin Buric both played for Velenje before

  • Nantes gained confidence through a 38:24 victory in the French league against US Ivry on Wednesday. Velenje faced Ormoz in the Slovenian league on Thursday night, winning clearly, 34:24

BM Logroño La Rioja (ESP) vs PAUC Handball (FRA)
Saturday 15 February, 19:00 CET, live on

  • both teams lost their first game in the group phase – Logroño to Tatabanya, 25:26, and PAUC to Berlin, 23:25

  • La Rioja have not won a European cup game against a French side since February 2015, when they took a victory against Paris Saint-Germain in the VELUX EHF Champions League

  • PAUC have lost their last two games, most recently on Wednesday against PSG in the French league, 28:38

  • Logroño won their ASOBAL League game on Tuesday against Puerto Sagunto, 38:31

TEXT: Peter Bruun / Kevin Domas / Tiago Noguiera / Björn Pazen