20211025 Sävehof Round 1
EHF European League

Twelve teams trying to double their points in round 2

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

The group phase of the EHF European League Men 2021/22 heads into its round 2 on Tuesday, as 12 matches across the four groups promise another exciting night of handball.

The 12 teams that won their respective opener will try to keep their momentum going.

Three matches are between two teams that won last week: Füchse Berlin against Tatran Presov in group A, RK Nexe against IK Sävehof in C, and USAM Nimes Gard against AEK Athens HC in D.

GROUP A

Orlen Wisla Plock (POL) vs Fenix Toulouse Handball (FRA)
Tuesday 26 October, 18:45 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Plock showed an impressive opener, beating Pfadi 35:23 with nine goals from Russian new arrival Mark Sergei Kosorotov
  • the teams also met in the EL group phase last season, with Plock winning both encounters narrowly: 26:25 and 27:25
  • Toulouse were close to surprise last season’s finalists Füchse Berlin but failed in the final stages
  • Plock goalkeeper Adam Morawski: "They have a team with many good players, so we will approach this game fully concentrated. Our goal is to fight for victory and I think that together with the fans in the Orlen Arena we are able to do it”
  • both sides had one-goal wins in their domestic leagues: Plock against Azoty-Pulawy (27:26), Toulouse against fellow EL contenders Nimes (26:25)

Füchse Berlin (GER) vs Tatran Presov (SVK)
Tuesday 26 October, 20:45 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • both teams started with a win last week: Füchse had a lucky 32:30 victory against Toulouse, Presov had a 7:0 run on their way to beating Bidasoa Irun 27:25
  • Füchse won 35:27 when both teams also met last season
  • Füchse coach Jaron Siewert: “Presov had a very good start into the season and haven’t lost a game yet. They play their typical aggressive-offensive defence but we want to keep going our way, especially in front of our home fans”
  • Presov coach Slavko Goluža: "We don't have to talk too much about the strength of Füchse. They are a great team, top of the Bundesliga ... But we can't think too much about Füchse; we need to focus on us and deliver our best handball"
  • including qualification, Füchse lefthander Fabian Wiede is already on 17 goals this season
  • former Croatian international Marko Kopljar (Füchse) will face his former national team coach Slavko Goluza (Presov coach)
  • Füchse easily won Sunday's Bundesliga match against Nettelstedt

Bidasoa Irun (ESP) vs Pfadi Winterthur (SUI)
Tuesday 26 October, 20:45 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • both sides are looking for their first points after losing last week
  • the teams have not met before in a European competition
  • Irun are coming off a domestic win in Spain (31:25 at Nava), but Pfadi lost their last home match in Switzerland to Bern (34:30)
  • one of Irun’s top players, Hungarian Donat Bartok, moved to Switzerland last season – but joined Kadetten Schaffhausen
  • Pfadi’s veteran goalkeeper Matias Schulz (ARG) played for various Spanish clubs between 2008 and 2014

GROUP B

GOG (DEN) vs Cocks (FIN)
Tuesday 26 October, 18:45 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • the teams have not before in a European competition
  • in the first round, GOG took the points in Chekhov (39:32) while Cocks suffered a severe home defeat against Nantes (40:28)
  • the Danish side only suffered one defeat at home in the European League last season, to Rhein-Neckar Löwen (37:32)
  • GOG are the undefeated leader of the Danish league, winning their eighth game in a row, in Sonderjyske (32:31), last weekend
  • Cocks have won only two away games in total in their four previous seasons in the EL and former EHF Cup

HBC Nantes (FRA) vs TBV Lemgo Lippe (GER)
Tuesday 26 October, 20:45 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • the two teams have never faced each other in European competitions
  • in the first round, Nantes easily defeated Cocks (40:28) while Lemgo suffered a one-goal defeat at home against Benfica (30:29)
  • Nantes assistant coach Grégory Cojean: "We will have to make a big game against this good German team. After a good victory against Cocks, we know that we have to rise up to a higher level against Lemgo"
  • Lemgo coach Florian Kehrmann: "HBC Nantes, alongside GOG, are certainly the favourites in the group regarding their results in recent seasons. It will be important to stand firm against them and find the gaps in their defence"
  • Nantes took the points on Friday in the French league, beating Nancy (37:28), and are ranked fourth
  • Lemgo won in Minden (32:29), moving up to the seventh place in the Bundesliga

SL Benfica (POR) vs Chekhovskie medvedi (RUS)
Tuesday 26 October, 20:45 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • this will be the first meeting between the two teams
  • Chekhov lost their last two games against a Portuguese side – against Sporting in the CL
  • the last time Benfica played against a Russian side was in the Challenge Cup 2015/16, beating St. Petersburg 49:47 on aggregate
  • in the first round, Benfica snatched a narrow win in Lemgo (30:29) while Chekhov suffered a home defeat to GOG (32:39)
20211025 Tatabanya Round 1
To have a chance against Sporting we have to conquer our self-doubt, become more confident on the court, believe in ourselves and the victory. Now we need the support of our fans more than ever.
Zsolt Balogh
Grundfos Tatabánya KC right back

GROUP C

RK Nexe (CRO) vs IK Sävehof (SWE)
Tuesday 26 October, 18:45 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Nexe impressed last week with a big win over PAUC Handball
  • Nexe will miss Fran Mileta due to a knee injury for the game against Sävehof
  • Sävehof has a strong season opener against La Rioja, and scored their sixth win in the Swedish domestic league
  • Sävehof head coach Michael Apelgren: "Nexe know that it was a big result for us in the opening match of the European League, so they will show us respect. However, they also know that they are a good team and it is rare for us to be seen as the underdogs, which is the case this time."
  • this is the first encounter between the two clubs

SC Magdeburg (GER) vs PAUC Handball (FRA)
Tuesday 26 October, 18:45 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • reigning EL champions Magdeburg are coming off an impressive win in the domestic league, beating four-time CL winners THW Kiel 29:27
  • Magdeburg goalkeeper Jannick Green: "We have great faith in what we are doing and we really wanted to win in Kiel. It is wonderful that it worked out with the win and that we were able to celebrate with the fans. It can go on like this"
  • Magdeburg are now undefeated in 13 matches in all competitions this season
  • PAUC want to bounce back from their opening-round loss last week, and did well in the French league last weekend with a Créteil
  • it is the first duel between the two teams in a European competition
  • PAUC coach Thierry Anti: “We are going to face what is one of the best teams in the world right now, we are going to do everything we can”

BM Logroño La Rioja (ESP) vs RK Gorenje Velenje (SLO)
Tuesday 26 October, 20:45 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • both teams are looking for their first points of the group phase
  • La Rioja and Velenje also met in the CL 2013/14 season, when each team won one of their duels
  • La Rioja recovered from their loss against Sävehof with a 31:26 win over Cuenca in the Spanish league
  • Velenje played well but lost to Magdeburg last week before defeating Koper in a Slovenian league game
  • Velenje left wing Tilen Sokolič: “We are confidently going to Spain. In the matches against Magdeburg and Koper, we saw that we had to fix certain segments of our game. I believe that we can manage to win the first points in the European League”

GROUP D

USAM Nimes Gard (FRA) vs AEK Athens HC (GRE)
Tuesday 26 October, 18:45 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • both teams opened their group phase campaign with a win last week
  • AEK Athens continued where they left last season, as they won the inaugural EHF European Cup 2020/21
  • Nimes goalkeeper Remi Desbonnet, in his last season with the French club, played a great game against Pelister in round 1

Grundfos Tatabánya KC (HUN) vs Sporting CP (POR)
Tuesday 26 October, 18:45 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Tatabánya KC lost to AEK in Greece last week and are eager to keep the points at home
  • Sporting are after their second win after beating Kadetten Schaffhausen in round 1
  • Sporting have lost just one match so far this season
  • Sporting coach Ricardo Costa: "We are going to face a very physically strong team. Our minds are on the victory, but we are aware of the problems we are going to face with this opponent"

Kadetten Schaffhausen (SUI) vs HC Eurofarm Pelister (MKD)
Tuesday 26 October, 18:45 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Kadetten have nine wins from nine games in the Swiss championship
  • Pelister started the season with winning the Macedonian super cup against HC Vardar 1961 but lost their EL group phase opener
  • both teams are looking for their first victory in group D

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