Danish teams in highlight matches for qualification round 2
The EHF European League Men's Qualification Round 2 draw did not disappoint as we were handed some big-name encounters as well as a plethora of intriguing contests on Tuesday morning in Vienna.
- 2019 EHF Cup Finals participants TTH Holstebro take on 2013 EHF Cup winners Rhein-Neckar Löwen
- 2018 EHF Champions League winners Montpellier face quarter-finalists Skjern
- the 12 ties will take place on Tuesday 22 September, followed by the second leg on 29 September with a place in the group phase at stake
Oliver Roggisch, sports director Rhein-Neckar Löwen, is in no doubt about the challenge of their opening European tie of the season.
“Holstebro are anything but easy to beat, but we have to, as our first goal is making it to the group phase. We knew them from the previous EHF Cup season when we beat them clearly. For us, playing in Denmark is always a nice trip.”
What do you reckon? Vote for the match you think will capture the imagination in round 2.
Qualification round 2 will see matches take place on Tuesdays for the first time, the European League's new designated playing night. The first leg will take place on 22 September, followed by the second leg on 29 September.
Some really interesting pairings here. At first glance, the two highlights appear to feature Danish clubs again, TTH Holstebro (DEN) vs Rhein-Neckar Löwen (GER) and Skjern Handbold (DEN) vs Montpellier Handball (FRA), but there are a lot of matches here which appear too close to call right now, making it a perfect recipe for more drama.
We also had a first in EHF draw event history as Markus Glaser's hours in the gym paid off too well when he managed to damage one of the draw bowls, ensuring non-stop drama in the European League, even when you least expect it.
11:16 - EHF European League Qualification Round 2
Dobrogea Sud Constanta (ROU) vs Sporting CP (POR)
KS Azoty-Pulawy SA (POL) vs IFK Kristianstad (SWE)
BM Benidorm (ESP) vs Fivers (AUT)
TTH Holstebro (DEN) vs Rhein-Neckar Löwen (GER) - first big clash of the day!
Bjerringbro-Silkeborg (DEN) vs HC CSKA (RUS)
AHC Potaissa Turda (ROU) vs Fenix Toulouse HB (FRA)
Bidasoa Irun (ESP) vs RK Nexe (CRO)
HC Metalurg (MKD) vs HC Kriens-Luzern (SUI)
GOG (DEN) vs Pfadi Winterthur (SUI)
Skjern Handbold (DEN) vs Montpellier Handball (FRA) - another big one between 2018 EHF Champions League quarter-finalists and champions
HEDO-B. Braun Gyöngyös (HUN) vs Füchse Berlin (GER) - European debutants vs second tier specialists
RK Trimo Trebnje (SLO) vs Balatonfüredi KSE (HUN)
We are just a few minutes away from this morning's draw, conducted by Markus Glaser and Mario Kovacic and Mario will enjoy this one as a part of the Fivers family.
We played together for Fivers' amateur team in Vienna for a few years and I always figured that if not for Mario's nice job at the EHF, he would be one of those evergreen playmakers, travelling around Europe, chasing the European Cup dream at a club like London GD or Anorthosis Famagusta...
There's no country protection in today's draw, which means we could have national derbies in Denmark, Hungary and Spain.
Besides that, we have two French, two German, two Romanian and two Swiss teams in the draw, but each pair sit in the same pot and cannot be drawn against each other.
The 12 teams which manage to get through this round will join the 24-team group phase. 12 teams were directly seeded for the group phase and were spared the stress and drama of the qualification rounds.
ESP ABANCA Ademar Leon
FRA USAM Nimes Gard
GER SC Magdeburg
HUN Grundfos Tatabanya KC
MKD HC Eurofarm Pelister
POL Orlen Wisla Plock
ROU Dinamo Bucuresti
RUS Chekhovskie medvedi
SUI Kadetten Schaffhausen
SVK Tatran Presov
SWE Alingsas HK
TUR Besiktas Aygaz
In case you're wondering how we got here, you can look back at the weekend's live blog, which captured the drama as Bjerringbro beat Melsungen in the highlight clash, Irun overcame PAUC in a dramatic one-legged affair and Fivers pulled off the shock of the weekend, beating Benfica.
After being treated to two genuinely exciting weekends of handball in round 1, attention on the EHF European League Men is mounting as we prepare for this morning's round 2 draw event.
Here are the 24 teams waiting to discover the only thing between them and the group phase.
RK Nexe (CRO)
BM Benidorm (ESP)
Montpellier Handball (FRA)
Fenix Toulouse HB (FRA)
Rhein-Neckar Löwen (GER)
Füchse Berlin (GER)
Balatonfüredi KSE (HUN)
HC Metalurg (MKD)
KS Azoty-Pulawy SA (POL)
Sporting CP (POR)
Skjern Handbold (DEN)
TTH Holstebro (DEN)
Bidasoa Irun (ESP)
HEDO-B. Braun Gyöngyös (HUN)
AHC Potaissa Turda (ROU)
Dobrogea Sud Constanta (ROU)
HC CSKA (RUS)
RK Trimo Trebnje (SLO)
Pfadi Winterthur (SUI)
HC Kriens-Luzern (SUI)
IFK Kristianstad (SWE)