Aalborg aim to end run in MOTW test against Szeged

EHF / Björn Pazen & Kevin Domas

While three teams have already secured at least a play-off berth in group A, Dinamo could be the fourth, were they to win in Porto. But the Portuguese side desperately needs two points to keep their chances of qualification alive. Veszprém and Paris keep on competing for the top spot, as the Hungarian side host GOG while Paris travel to Zagreb. In the last game of the round, Magdeburg can still hope for one of the two top spots in the group if they win in Plock.

In group B, the top sides Barça and Kielce can make huge steps towards skipping the play-offs - but the Polish side has the higher hurdle at Kiel ahead, compared to the home match against Elverum for the defending champions. In the MOTW against Pick Szeged, Aalborg hope to end their series of defeats, while Nantes can book their ticket for the knock-out stage against Celje.


Telekom Veszprém (HUN) vs GOG (DEN)
Wednesday 8 February, 18:45 CET, live on EHFTV 

  • Veszprém are currently top of the group with 16 points, while GOG are fifth with nine points 
  • Veszprém won the first confrontation between the two teams in Denmark by one goal, 31:30, thanks to a last-second goal by Petar Nenadic 
  • the Hungarian side lost their right back Omar Yahia in the last days of December to a knee injury 
  • five players who won medals at the last World Championship will be on the court: Rodrigo Corrales (Veszprém) took bronze with Spain while Kentin Mahé won silver with France 
  • Rasmus Lauge Schmidt (Veszprém), Lukas Jorgensen and Simon Pytlick (GOG) took the world champion title with Denmark in Stockholm  
  • last weekend, GOG lost a clash in the Danish league against Aalborg (30:26) while Veszprém enjoyed a weekend without games 

HC PPD Zagreb (CRO) vs Paris Saint-Germain HB (FRA) 
Wednesday 8 February, 18:45 CET, live on EHFTV 

  • PSG Handball are currently tied as leaders of the group with Veszprém at 16 points, while Zagreb are sixth with eight points 
  • Zagreb have taken five points in their last three games after taking three in the first seven rounds of the group phase 
  • PSG Handball took full points in the first clash between the two teams in France (40:31) 
  • the last time Paris did not beat Zagreb in the Champions League was in the quarter-finals in 2016. Since then, the French have won five ties 
  • five Paris players won medals at the World Championship: Nikola and Luka Karabatic, Mathieu Grébille and Elohim Prandi won silver with France while Ferran Sole won bronze with Spain 
  • Zagreb resumed the Croatian league with a win on Friday in Dubrava (42:23), while Paris qualified for the French cup semi-finals in Chartres (37:35), in a game during which Dominik Mathé made his comeback to the court, 11 months after a knee injury 
20230207 CLM Round 11 Preview Gojun
We've prepared well for PSG, worked on this new and changed defensive scheme and I have to say I feel like we're going to do good in this one. We've proved to everyone how good we actually are in those last few matches of the first part of the season and now we'll try to enjoy each game, give our absolute best and see where that brings us.
Jakov Gojun
Left back, HC PPD Zagreb

FC Porto (POR) vs CS Dinamo Bucuresti (ROU)
Wednesday 8 February, 20:45 CEST, live on EHFTV 

  • Dinamo are fourth in the group after 10 rounds, with 11 points, while Porto are last, with one point 
  • Dinamo only need two points to secure their play-off berth, which would be a first in the history of the club 
  • on the other hand, Porto must take points against Dinamo or they will be eliminated from the run for the play-offs 
  • Bucharest took the points in the first game between the two teams this season (32:27) 
  • Andrii Akimenko is Bucarest’s top scorer with 54 goals, while Victor Iturriza netted 39 times for Porto 
  • Porto qualified for the Last 16 of the Portuguese Cup by defeating Viseu (47:23) last week while Dinamo won their two league games since the end of the world championship, in Oradea (38:28) and Timisoara (35:24)

Orlen Wisla Plock (POL) vs SC Magdeburg (GER) 
Thursday 9 February, 20:45 CEST, live on EHFTV 

  • After 10 rounds, Plock are second last in the group with five points, while Magdeburg sit third with 14 points 
  • Plock have not taken any points in the last five Champions League rounds, while Magdeburg won their last two games against GOG and PSG Handball 
  • the German side took the points in the first tie against Plock this season (33:27) 
  • Michael Damgaard and Magnus Saugstrup both won gold at the World Championship with Denmark, while Plock’s Abel Serdio won bronze with Spain 
  • last weekend, Wisla Plock took the points in the Polish league against Glogow (42:22) while Magdeburg won 35:34 in the German Cup against THW Kiel after extra-time 
  • SC line player Magnus Saugstrup will be out for the coming months with a knee injury he suffered 
20221215 WISLA ZAGRZEB 34 X3
Last season Magdeburg became one of the best teams in all Europe. Without any question, they are a clear candidate to win Bundesliga, win the Cup and advance to the EHF FINAL4. They were able to win the quarter-final of the Cup in Kiel and beat a great team like Kiel there in front of 8,500 people. They are a very, very fast team with great players in attack and in situation one against one. We must play really good to try to beat them but of course we will try to give everything.
Xavier Sabate
Coach, Orlen Wisla Plock


MOTW: Aalborg Håndbold (DEN) vs OTP-Bank PICK Szeged (HUN)
Thursday 9 February, 18:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • winning the first duel 41:29 at Szeged was Aalborg’s last victory in the group phase, followed by five defeats and one draw
  • Szeged, on the other hand, took victories at the same time and were defeated only twice
  • thanks to this series of successes, Szeged have passed Aalborg in the table, being on eight points, one ahead of the Danish side
  • in total, Szeged have won four of nine duels against Aalborg and lost three, two matches ended in draws, but Aalborg could only win two of four home matches
  • three Aalborg players won gold at the recent IHF Men's World Championship, while Pick’s Spaniard Imanol Garciandia returned home with a bronze medal
  • Mikkel Hansen is currently Aalborg’s top scorer with 58 goals, while Mario Sostaric and Kent-Robin Tönessen scored 33 times for Pick; however, Hansen is currently off sick with stress
  • in the Danish league, Aalborg took revenge for the lost final series 2021/22 by beating GOG 30:26 and are back in the first position, while Szeged re-started in the Hungarian league with a clear 45:28 against Cegledi to top the ranking
20230207 CLM Round 11 Preview Madsen
I think both teams remember the first game really well. But I also know that Szeged is a way better team than they showed in the away game. It will be a very tough match and we really need the points.
Stefan Madsen
Coach, Aalborg Håndbold

THW Kiel (GER) vs Industria Kielce (POL)
Thursday 9 February, 18:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Kielce won the first duel 40:37 after a true goalfest - it was their eighth success in 13 matches against Kiel to this point
  • with 18 points, Kielce can make a huge step towards a direct quarter-final qualification if they win in Kiel, while the hosts only have mathematical chances to finish second, being eight points below Kielce
  • Andreas Wolff, All-star Team goalkeeper of the 2023 World Championship, will return to his former club Kiel with Kielce
  • besides Wolff, Kielce have one more All-star Team member in their squad: Alex Dujshebaev (Spain), and another six World Championship medallists. Nedim Remili (France) announced he was joining Veszprém on Wednesday
  • Kiel count on two brothers who just won their third World Championship gold medal in a row: Niklas and Magnus Landin
  • the top scorers so far are Arkadiusz Moryto (58 strikes for Kielce) and Harald Reinkind (42 goals for Kiel)
  • while THW Kiel lost their cup quarter-final after extra-time against SC Magdeburg 35:34, Kielce won their first match of the year in the Polish league 40:26 at Piotrkow and remain second below Plock
20230207 CLM Round 11 Preview Pekeler
Kielce has a lot of individual class. We know that the team will play a lot through the circle. They can also play an incredibly unpleasant 5:1 defence. I expect a high-class game with a relatively high number of goals, because both teams play fast forwards and have really outstanding back players. So it will be a very, very fast-paced game with a lot of goals.
Hendrik Pekeler
Line player, THW Kiel

Barça (ESP) vs Elverum Handball (NOR)
Thursday 9 February, 20:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Barça are still the only unbeaten club in the Machineseeker EHF Champions League with nine victories and one draw - and top group B one point ahead of Kielce
  • like Kielce, the defending champions have already secured a spot in the knock-out stage, but aim to finish on top and skip the play-offs
  • Barça have won all five previous encounters against Elverum. The 46:30 win in the first match of this season levelled their highest-scoring Champions League match (46:36 against Kolding in 2009)
  • having only two points on their account after 10 group matches, Elverum are almost out of the race for the play-offs
  • Barça count on three newly decorated French World Championship silver medallists, including all-star team line player Ludovic Fabregas, and a Spanish bronze-medal winner, goalkeeper Gonzalo Perez de Vargas
  • Dika Mem (58 goals for Barça) and Uros Borzas (44 goals for Elverum) are the current top scorers for both clubs
  • in the Spanish league, Barça took their 16th victory in the same number of matches by outscoring runners-up Granollers 37:22
20230207 CLM Round 11 Preview Ortega
We have to win this game and focus just on this, not whether we are going to make the quarter-finals. We respect a lot Elverum and they play faster than before. They have a couple of good young players on the right side and even if we won very easy on the away game, this is going to be very different game. To be honest, the difference between both teams is not the 20 goals of margin we got in our first game. They will come here willing to beat us.
Carlos Ortega
Coach, Barça

HBC Nantes (FRA) vs RK Celje Pivovarna Laško (SLO)
Thursday 9 February, 20:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • if they win, Nantes would book their play-off ticket and would remain in the race for one of the two top positions, which would mean skipping the first knock-out stage
  • Nantes are ranked third with 12 points, while Celje are seventh, three points below Aalborg and four below Szeged
  • after an intermediate run of five victories in six group matches, Nantes had lost the last two games before the winter break against Kiel and Barça with the same result (33:37)
  • Nantes have won three of five previous duels against Celje, the only defeat occurred on home ground, in the last season (28:30), while they won the first encounter of the current season 35:24 at Celje
  • Nantes’ Thibaud Briet was part of the silver-winning French side at the World Championship, Kauldi Odriozola and Jorge Maqueda won bronze with Spain
  • thanks to a 35:26 victory against Ivry, Nantes proceeded to the semi-finals of the French cup, while Celje won their Slovenian league match against Krka 31:27 on Saturday
SLK1092A X2
Nantes showed in the first part of the season that they are a great team. They are the absolute favourite to face us. But this does not mean that we are giving up in advance. We will certainly play to the best of our abilities. We need to be as focused as possible. We'll see what that brings us.
Alem Toskić
Coach, RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko
15122022 Hbcnantes Barça Monar X5

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