Slovak champions Tatran from Presov have opened SEHA - Gazprom League season in an amazing way not many expected with two big wins against Meshkov Brest and PPD Zagreb clearly proving their pre-season ambitions of catching a place on SEHA - Gazprom Final Four tournament this season. Goluza and his players obviously did a great job during the off-season and are eager to prove their worth against yet another favored opponent - Slovenian Celje PL. By that, it is important to note they failed to qualify for EHF Champions League's group stage which means they will be able to give SEHA - Gazprom League's regular season some additional focus.
Celje PL on the other side made a whole lot of roster changes during the summer and as the result comes the fact that it is still visible they are in the process of fitting all the new players together and making them function as a team. In the opening round they were better than Gorenje in Velenje and in the second they fell short against Meshkov Brest which means Tatran are entering the match with a bit better momentum but one surely should not count Celje out, especially knowing that they were last season twice better than the team from Presov - 39:30 in Celje and 31:25 in Slovakia.
Match is scheduled for Saturday (20.30 CET) and will be broadcasted on EHF TV, Arena Sport channels as well as Sport TV (Slovenia).
Slavko Goluza, Tatran coach:
The game against Celje will be even tougher than the one against Zagreb. Celje will be highly motivated to win after home defeat versus Meshkov Brest. They will be more cautious in the match against us due to our good start that's for sure. I expect my team to remain absolutely focused on the match and prolong the winning streak. We will once again miss Oliver Rabek with both Dominik Krok and Michal Kasal experiencing certain minor injury problems. We will do our best to reach third SEHA win of the season in front of our great fans and that's why I'd like to invite them all to come and support us on Saturday.
Jakub Hrstka, Tatran player:
We are expecting a very tough game on Saturday and we'll have to prepare properly. We need to remain focused throughout the full course of the match. I hope fans will once again be there for us and eventually celebrate with us in the end of course.
Branko Tamse, Celje PL coach:
We are travelling to Presov to play against a team that delivered an amazing amount of both desire and fighting spirit in their premier two matches of the season surprising everyone with wins against PPD Zagreb and Meshkov. They are obviously in good shape and I'm surprised they did not manage to qualify for Champions League group stage. They are now however fully focused on SEHA League where they will show their full potential and power. I expect a tough match against their aggressive defense and I'm sure we'll have to be on the highest possible level throughout the whole match in order to reach a positive result.
Gal Marguc, Celje PL player:
I'm still in rehabilitation process after the injury I got during Slovenian Supercup match. It is getting better and better, I will travel to Slovakia with the team but I'm still not sure if I'll be able to play or no. However, I'm sure all my teammates will be on a required level and deliver even better performance than against Meshkov on Wednesday. We are expecting a tough match obviously, we've seen the way they entered the season and that they are playing tough and efficient handball with new head coach Slavko Goluza.