20211122

Füchse, Benfica aim to extend winning streak into round 4

EHF / Björn Pazen, Kevin Domas, Tiago Nogueira, Ola Selby

The EHF European League Men 2021/22 is approaching round 4 of the group phase Tuesday as the 24 teams in the four groups continue their efforts for reaching a spot in the Last 16.

Last year’s finalists Füchse Berlin are tested at Presov, where they want to extend their winning streak in group A. After their first group phase defeat last week, Wisla Plock travel to Toulouse, where the hosts hope for their first home points. Pfadi Winterthur host Irun in a duel of two teams equal on two points.

In group B, SL Benfica have the opportunity to increase their lead on top of the group, at home against GOG. The situation could become tough to handle for bottom-placed teams Cocks and Chekhov. Both are without points and might drop further behind their rivals with another loss on Tuesday.

Over in group C, much attention will go to the clash between Nexe and La Rioja, who could improve their ranking as the duel between the top-two teams, Sävehof and titleholders Magdeburg, has been postponed. PAUC seek their first points when hosting Velenje in the other game.

Group D has been the closest so far, with three teams sharing the lead on four points each, with two of them facing each other on Tuesday when Sporting host AEK Athens. The third one, Nimes, travel to Kadetten in Switzerland, while Pelister and Tatabanya look to close the gap to the leading trio.

GROUP A

Fenix Toulouse Handball (FRA) vs Orlen Wisla Plock (POL)
Tuesday 23 November, 20:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Plock won both previous encounters against Toulouse in the group phase of the 2020/21 season
  • Toulouse took their first points of their international season last week by winning 26:24 at Irun, while Plock were defeated on home ground by Berlin
  • Plock are two points ahead of the French side
  • in the French league, Toulouse tied 27:27 against Limoges and remain in 12th; Plock won 27:21 against Zabrze and stayed top of the Polish league alongside Kielce

Pfadi Winterthur (SUI) vs Bidasoa Irun (ESP)
Postponed, details of the rescheduled match will be announced in due course

Tatran Presov (SVK) vs Füchse Berlin (GER)
Tuesday 23 November, 20:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Berlin are one of two teams – alongside Benfica in group B – the maximum amount of six points after three rounds
  • Presov had won their opener against Irun, but then lost at Berlin and against Winterthur
  • Berlin had won the first encounter in a dominant way, 36:23
  • Berlin won 35:27 when the teams also met last season
  • Presov won their Slovak league match 36:18 at Zahoraci to top the ranking, while Berlin are still runners-up in Germany after winning at Stuttgart
20211122 Presov Quote
It is a match against Berlin and we don't need to waste too much time to talk about their quality. We need to minimise mistakes that we repeat in every match. We must have maximum motivation and fight for 60 minutes. We will try to adapt our defensive system. Naturally, our 5-1 defence demands a lot of energy. We have an alternative and we will see how much of it we can apply during the match.
Slavko Goluža
Tatran Presov head coach

GROUP B

Chekhovskie Medvedi (RUS) vs HBC Nantes (FRA)
Tuesday 23 November, 18:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Chekhov are ranked fifth without a point so far, while Nantes share second place with GOG and Lemgo, all with four points
  • it will be the first match between the two sides in European competitions
  • Nantes have the second-best defence in the group phase, with 80 goals conceded; Chekhov have the second-worst defence, with 107 goals conceded
  • Nantes took the points in Chartres (33:27), remaining second in the French league; Chekhov narrowly defeated Stavropol (30:29) to stay top of the Russian league

SL Benfica (POR) vs GOG (DEN)
Tuesday 23 November, 18:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Benfica are the sole leaders of the group, with the maximum of six points; GOG are second with four points
  • the sides have not met each other before in European competitions
  • this weekend, GOG grabbed an easy win against Lemvig (41:23) and remain on top of the Danish league
  • Benfica, on the other hand, suffered their second straight defeat in the Portuguese league, in Victoria (32:29)

TBV Lemgo Lippe (GER) vs Cocks (FIN)
Tuesday 23 November, 20:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • this game will be the first between Lemgo and Cocks in European competitions
  • Cocks are currently fifth in the group, without a point, while Lemgo are tied second with GOG and Nantes, with four points
  • last weekend, Lemgo drew in Hamburg in the Bundesliga (28:28) and are ranked fifth; Cocks suffered their first defeat in the Finnish league since December 2020 this weekend, against Dicken, 32:29
  • Cocks have not won any away game in a European group phase since a win in Koper in Slovenia in March 2018, losing 11 of their 12 European away games
20211122 Lemgo Quote
Cocks are the big unknown in our group but we know about their qualities in offence and defence. Our aim is to find good solutions against their tactics and to play a good defence ourselves.
Florian Kehrmann
TBV Lemgo Lippe head coach

GROUP C

IK Sävehof (SWE) vs SC Magdeburg (GER)
Match has been postponed and will be rescheduled

RK Nexe (CRO) vs BM Logroño La Rioja (ESP)
Tuesday 23 November, 20:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • this is first encounter between these two teams
  • Nexe want to bounce back after their bitter defeat at Velenje, but Branko Tamse’s team still struggles with injuries
  • Nexe beat Sesvete in the domestic league and hold first place in group B of Croatian championship
  • La Rioja are boosted by their draw against titleholders Magdeburg; they have lost only once in their last seven matches – against Granollers
  • ahead of Tuesday’s match in Croatia, La Rioja beat Huesca and are ranked fourth in Spain

PAUC Handball (FRA) vs RK Gorenje Velenje (SLO)
Tuesday 23 November, 20:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • the two teams have not met before
  • PAUC are still waiting for their first win the group phase this season, but are doing well in the French league with two straight wins and third position
  • Velenje will be without Matic Verdinek, and will probably have to do without Domen Tajnik and Petar Sisko due to injuries as well
  • Zoran Jovičić, head coach of Velenje: "We are going to France, playing to the best of our ability, what we do in every game. The desire is to correct the mistakes of previous matches, give our maximum what this team has to give and show a good game"
  • after their win against Nexe, Velenje lost to Ribnica in the Slovenian league and are currently ranked fifth
20211122 Pfadi Quote
We have a kind of 'small final' coming up against Bidasoa Irun. This in the sense that if we can score against them at home, the dream of a top-four finish in this strong group is no longer as unrealistic as we thought after the draw. We are accordingly motivated and hot for this game.
Goran Cvetkovic
Pfadi Winterthur head coach

GROUP D

RK Eurofarm Pelister (MKD) vs Grundfos Tatabanya KC (HUN)
Tuesday 23 November, 18:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • both teams are coming off important wins in round 3: Pelister against AEK in Athens, Tatabanya at home against Kadetten
  • Pelister have won 10 of their 11 matches in the Macedonian championship
  • the teams also met in the group phase last season, with Pelister winning both encounters
  • Tatabanya have an almost all-Hungarian, young quad  

Sporting CP (POR) vs AEK Athens (GRE)
Tuesday 23 November, 20:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • both teams want to recover from defeats last week, after they had each won their first two matches of the group phase
  • Dimitrios Tziras is the leading scorer for AEK, with 18 goals
  • a range of Spanish players will meet in the duel between the Portuguese and the Greek teams
  • Backs Martim and Francisco, sons of the coach Ricardo Costa, are playing an increasingly important role at Sporting CP

Kadetten Schaffhausen (SUI) vs USAM Nimes (FRA)
Tuesday 23 November, 20:45 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Kadetten Schaffhausen have won a perfect 11 from 11 matches in the Swiss championship
  • the two teams have not met before in a European competition
  • Nimes’ Mohamed Hisham has already scored 41 goals this European League season, including 23 in the qualification round against CSKA
  • Nimes have a squad with almost only French players, combining experience with youth
  • Kadetten, on one point, are looking for their first victory in group D
  • Kadetten goalkeeper Ignacio Biosca: "Kristian Pilipovic and I are a good team, we are both ready. It is difficult for us, because we have a lot of games during the next days. We have to focus day by day and game by game"

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