Vipers seek first points, Odense host Metz in MOTWArticle
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ROUND PREVIEW: The defending champions face Sävehof in a Scandinavian derby in round 2 of the group phase

»EHF CL Channel »2021-22 Women's CL

The DELO EHF Champions League 2021/22 is heading into round 2 of the group phase this weekend, featuring six matches on Saturday and two on Sunday.

Most notably, Odense Håndbold and Metz Handball meet in Denmark on Saturday for the Match of the Week.

Also in Scandinavia, defending champions Vipers Kristiansand hope to bag their first points of the season hosting IK Sävehof in Norway.

Elsewhere, the clash between CSM Bucuresti and Rostov-Don will see the Russian side’s coach Per Johansson visit his former club.


CSM Bucuresti (ROU) vs Rostov-Don (RUS)
Saturday 18 September, 16:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Rostov coach Per Johansson had two stints at CSM as head coach and one as assistant coach in the last five years
  • Johansson is close friends with current CSM coach Adi Vasile; they worked together, both at the club and the Montenegrin women’s national team
  • CSM captain Cristina Neagu has scored 23 goals in her three matches against Rostov so far
  • CSM want to bounce back after losing their opener to Esbjerg (22:21) last week, while Rostov are coming off a win over 2020/21 finalists Brest (26:24)
  • the match will be played in the Dinamo Arena as CSM’s usual playing hall, the Sala Polivalenta, is unavailable
  • CSM signed Alexandra Dindiligan from HC Zalau this week to replace Dutch left wing Martine Smeets, who ligaments in her knee; Siraba Dembele is nursing an Achilles tendon injury

FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria (HUN) vs HC Podravka Vegeta (CRO)
Saturday 18 September, 16:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Podravka have not started a CL season with two wins since 1997/98, when they won against Motor Zaporozhye and Istochnik Rostov
  • after their draw in Dortmund in the first round, FTC can secure their best start of the season since 2016/17 with a win
  • FTC need four more wins to become only the sixth team with 100 wins in the CL
  • FTC have not lost in eight previous games against Podravka, winning seven times and drawing once

Brest Bretagne Handball (FRA) vs Team Esbjerg (DEN)
Saturday 18 September, 18:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Esbjerg have started a CL season with two wins only once so far – in 2016/17
  • only six of the 18 wins mustered by the Danish side in the CL were in away games
  • Brest goalkeeper Sandra Toft played under coach Jesper Jensen at Esbjerg between 2017 and 2019 before moving to Brest that summer
  • Brest got their first win of the season on Wednesday in the French league (33:24 against Merignac), Esbjerg beat Holstebro 40:28 in the Danish league
  • Esbjerg coach Jesper Jensen: “We do not think about getting a revenge for last year’s loss. We want to see how close we are to the best of the best”

Buducnost BEMAX (MNE) vs BV Borussia 09 Dortmund (GER)
Sunday 19 September, 16:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Buducnost, coming off a 29:22 defeat at Podravka, have not lost the first two matches of a CL season since 2009/10, when they were eliminated in the group phase
  • Buducnost are eyeing their 150th win in the competition, second only to after Gyor’s tally of 177 wins
  • Dortmund have opened the domestic league in Germany with three straight wins, including a 34:26 win at Zwickau on Wednesday
  • Buducnost won both games when the teams met in the CL group phase last season: 31:27 at home and 28:26 in Germany


MOTW Odense Håndbold (DEN) vs Metz Handball (FRA)
Saturday 18 September, 16:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • the teams previously met in the 2018/19 season, when they split points in Denmark (19:19) before Metz were clearly dominant in France (41:26)
  • Odense coach Ulrik Kirkely: “Metz are a team of experienced international players from the top shelf. We expect a tough fight against their great physique and fast feet in the duels”
  • Odense have won all their matches in the 2021/22 season so far: their CL opener against Kastamonu last week and the first four matches in the Danish league
  • Metz will play their first match this CL season after their encounter with CSKA was postponed last Sunday
  • Odense have four Dutch internationals, though injured Lois Abbingh won’t play in the MOTW; Metz coach Emmanuel Mayonnade was Dutch national team coach until last week
  • both Odense and Metz are leading their domestic league with the maximum amount of points

Vipers Kristiansand (NOR) vs IK Sävehof (SWE)
Saturday 18 September, 18:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • it will be Vipers’ first CL game in their home arena in Kristiansand since January 2021, after they had to play most matches out of Norway
  • the two Scandinavian teams have not met before in a European club competition
  • Vipers coach Ole Gustav Gjekstad: "Sävehof play with a lot of tempo and they attack the spaces left open, so we have to stand up and be strong physically"
  • defending champions Vipers opened their 2021/22 campaign with a six-goal defeat at five-time champions Györ (35:29)
  • Sävehof pulled off a surprise by beating Krim 29:28, after only scoring their first goal almost 11 minutes into the match
  • the match features the two best scorers from the opening round: Vipers’ Ragnhild Dahl (12 goals) and Sävehof’s Jamina Roberts (10 goals)

Krim Mercator Ljubljana (SLO) vs Györi Audi ETO KC (HUN)
Saturday 18 September, 18:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • five-time CL winners Györ lead group B following their comfortable home win against title holders Vipers last week
  • ambitious Krim had a disappointing voyage to Sweden, losing to Sävehof
  • returned to Krim after 10 years, Andrea Lekic will play against one of her former clubs, having played for Györ in 2011-13
  • both sides have two 2020 Olympic champions from France in their squads, though one of them, Györ’s Estelle Nze Minko is currently out with an injury
  • Györ have won all 14 matches against Krim since March 2010, and have never lost in 20 matches so far, winning 17 times and drawing three times

CSKA (RUS) vs Kastamonu Belediyesi GSK (TUR)
Sunday 19 September, 14:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • last season’s debutants and EHF FINAL4 participants, CSKA, will play their first match of the current season after the game in Metz last week was postponed
  • Kastamonu are after their first ever points in the CL as they started their debut season in the group phase with a defeat against Odense
  • both sides signed a Romanian coach in the off-season: Florentin Pera at CSKA and Costica Buceschi at Kastamonu
  • both teams had female coaches for a part of last season: Helle Thomsen at Kastamonu and Olga Akopyan at CSKA
  • on Wednesday, CSKA beat Kuban in a Russian league game, 34:28

TEXT: EHF / Adrian Costeiu, Sergey Nikolaev