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EHF Champions League

MOTW with Barça and PSG among round 5 highlights

EHF / Björn Pazen, Kevin Domas

After several surprises in the EHF Champions League Men last week, more highlights are coming up in round 5 on Wednesday and Thursday.

In group A, the leading teams of TWW Kiel (against Pick Szeged) and Aalborg Håndbold (against HC Vardar 1961) have tough tests ahead on home ground.

Three teams share the lead in group B, and their dominance will be put to a test this week: Defending champions Barça take on Paris Saint-Germain HB in the Match of the Week, Lomza Vive Kielce are hosting FC Porto, and Telekom Veszprém HC are playing against SG Flensburg-Handewitt, who are eager to kick-start their campaign after gaining just one point from their first four matches.


THW Kiel (GER) vs Pick Szeged (HUN)
Wednesday 20 October, 18:45 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Kiel are on six points after three victories and one defeat (in Montpellier), while Szeged’s unbeaten streak ended against Elverum last week
  • Kiel lead the head-to-head 7-3 after 10 duels with Szeged so far; in March 2021, Kiel won both play-off duels against Szeged
  • Szeged have not yet qualified for an EHF FINAL4 event, while Kiel have won it three times: in 2010, 2012, and 2020
  • Kiel right wing Niclas Ekberg is the third best scorer of the CL season with 25 goals, eight goals more than Szeged’s best scorer, Bence Banhidi
  • Kiel coach Filip Jicha: “This will be a key match for the group phase. Against this strong team we will need the support of our fans to win two very important points”
  • both sides are the domestic champions; Kiel just tied for the second time in the new season (21:21 against Lemgo), Szeged top the table with 14 points from seven matches

Aalborg Håndbold (DEN) vs HC Vardar 1961 (MKD)
Wednesday 20 October, 18:45 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Aalborg share the group lead with Kiel after a narrow win over Meshkov Brest last week
  • Vardar had their undefeated status changed by Montpellier in the previous round
  • the two teams have not met before in an official competition
  • four Aalborg players – Felix Claar, Christian Björnsen (both 21), Lukas Sandell (20), and Sebastian Barthold (19) – combine for 79 goals after four rounds
  • Timur Dibirov (21) and Jeremy Toto (20) are Vardar’s best scorers so far
  • Aalborg player Jonas Samuelsson: “I hope our fans are ready to give Vardar a hard time. The crowd in Skopje a couple of weeks ago was really loud and helped their team take the win. This time it will be different, and I believe Vardar is another team at home and away”

Elverum Handball (NOR) vs HC PPD Zagreb (CRO)
Wednesday 20 October, 18:45 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Zagreb got their only point so far earlier this season at home against Elverum (27:27)
  • Zagreb have not lost a CL match against Elverum yet, following a tie and a win in the 2019/20 group phase and the draw earlier this season
  • Elverum upset Szeged in Hungary in the previous round for their first victory of the season
  • Elverum’s Tobias Grøndahl, who scored nine times last week, is fifth on the CL scorers list with 22 goals
  • Zagreb hope to end their wait of more than 600 days for a CL victory

Montpellier HB (FRA) vs HC Meshkov Brest (BLR)
Wednesday 20 October, 20:45 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Brest are the only team in the group phase without point so far
  • Montpellier and Brest have met four times, with the French side winning the last three encounters and the Belarusian side only the first one
  • Montpellier line player Kyllian Villeminot is the team’s best scorer with 24 goals
  • Czech new arrival Stanislav Kasparek is Meshkov’s best scorer with 18
  • Montpellier are coming off strong victories against two former CL winners: Kiel (37:30) and Vardar (31:25)
  • however, in the French league Montpellier rank only seventh after three wins from seven matches, including a 31:26 win against Dunkerque last Saturday


Lomza Vive Kielce (POL) vs FC Porto (POR)
Wednesday 20 October, 18:45 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Kielce won five of their previous seven matches against Porto in the CL, Porto had one win
  • the only draw between the teams came in last season’s group phase
  • Kielce share the group lead with Barça and Veszprém after winning their last three matches
  • Porto have won one away game this season – against Motor, in Zaporozhye
  • both teams lead their domestic leagues and won their games last weekend: Kielce at Azoty-Pulawy (29:28) and Porto against Maia/ISMAI (31:22)

HC Motor (UKR) vs CS Dinamo Bucuresti (ROU)
Thursday 21 October, 18:45 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • the teams previously met in the 2016/17 group phase, with each side winning their respective home game: 35:27 to Motor, 35:31 to Dinamo
  • Motor and Dinamo both have two points; only Flensburg, who are on one, have fewer points
  • Dinamo lost both away games so far this CL season, at PSG and Barça; in 2019/20, they came home with at least a point from every away game
  • both sides top their domestic leagues but didn’t play this weekend

Telekom Veszprém HC vs SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER)
Thursday 21 October, 18:45 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • the teams have met 10 times since 2010, with Veszprém taking seven wins and Flensburg just one, and two matches ended in a draw
  • Veszprém are currently top of the group with six points, tied with Barça and Kielce, while Flensburg are last with one point
  • both sides’ best scorers have netted 26 times so far: Petar Nenadic for Veszprém and Hampus Wanne for Flensburg
  • to make up for the injuries of Magnus Rød and Franz Semper, Flensburg have added 37-year-old former Löwen, Melsungen, and Füchse player Michael Müller to the squad until the end of the year
  • Veszprém’s Danish player Rasmus Lauge will play against his former club for the first time, after leaving Flensburg in 2019
  • Lauge said before the match: "It’s no secret that I cherish a lot of lovely memories from my period in Flensburg, it is always a special feeling playing against them. I expect a very tough game, I know they are very dangerous on the counter and difficult to play against"
  • Flensburg are currently sixth in the Bundesliga and lost to Magdeburg (33:28) last weekend; Veszprém are unbeaten and rank second in the Hungarian league behind Szeged, with two games outstanding

MOTW: Barça (ESP) vs Paris Saint-Germain HB (FRA)
Thursday 21 October, 20:45 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Barça have won six of the seven matches against PSG in the CL since 2013; PSG’s only win came in the 2016/17 group phase
  • after four rounds, Barça share the group B lead with Kielce and Vardar, followed by PSG with one point less
  • Barça goalkeeper Gonzalo Perez de Vargas said before the match: "If you like handball, I think you cannot watch a better game than this one, and having the chance to play in Barcelona is even better. Also having players on the court that have played for both teams is another factor"
  • Barça’s Dika Mem is the current top scorer in the CL with 31 goals; Mikkel Hansen has netted 24 times for PSG so far
  • Barça boast the competition’s best defence, with 107 goals conceded; PSG have the second best attack, with 139 goals scored – just one less than Kiel
  • both teams top their respective domestic league, and Barça defeated Valladolid (40:24) and PSG took the points at home against Chambéry (36:29) last weekend

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