Nærbø under pressure to keep title defence going
It is decision time in round 3 of the EHF European Cup Men 2022/23 this weekend with 12 second-leg matches and three doubleheaders.
On Saturday, reigning champions Nærbø IL will be looking for a comeback at home in Norway in order to keep their title defence going. Nærbø lost the first leg to Finnish side BK-46 last week: 28:26.
- the titleholders also struggled in the previous round against RK Slovenj Gradec, but ultimately beat the Slovenian team twice: 29:28 and 29:27
- the cup winners from two seasons ago, AEK Athens HC, defeated Alingsås HK at home in the first leg (32:27) and are defending their advantage in Sweden on Sunday
- RK Gorenje Velenje from Slovenia, who reached the semi-finals in 2020/21, have a good chance of progressing after their 28:20 home win against RK Partizan, with the return scheduled in Belgrade on Sunday
- unlike Nærbø, fellow Norwegian team Runar Sandefoord Elite have already one foot in the next round before their trip to Pölva Serviti in Estonia, having won the home leg 41:30
- not all 16 teams progressing to the next round will be confirmed on Sunday evening, as the second leg of the tie between Vojvodina (SRB) and Förthof UHK Krems (AUT) will not be played this weekend and has been postponed until further notice (official EHF statement)
- the draw for the Last 16 takes place on Tuesday 13 December at 11:00 CET; the first leg will be played on 11/12 February 2023, the second leg the following week
Two Czech sides to play doubleheaders
There are three doubleheaders scheduled for the decisive weekend in round 3 – and two of them involve clubs from Czech Republic. In Prague, HC Dukla Praha host Icelandic opponents IBV Vestmannaeyjar on Saturday and Sunday. On the same days, another Czech team, Talent tym Plzenskeho kraje, meet AS SGS Ramshat Hashron in Israel.
The third doubleheader takes place in Italy, where Sidea Group Junior Fasano take on KEMBIT-LIONS from Netherlands on Friday and Saturday.