Derby of the round: Confidence booster for Zagreb or additional proof of good form for Gorenje?Author: SGL, Published: 06.11.2017.
Gorenje will in SEHA - Gazprom Round 7 on Tuesday in Velenje host PPD Zagreb. Teams are waiting for the match in quite different atmospheres - Slovenians are playing way better than it was expected proving themselves on both battlefields - Champions League and SEHA League. Latest confirmation came only a few days ago when they beat Norwegian Elverum with 30:21 clearly proving whey their match against PPD Zagreb has 'derby of the round title'. Croatian champions on the other side suffered a tough 10-goal loss in Palau Blaugrana in Barcelona on Saturday which is just an additional proof of poor form they're dealing with lately.
History books are on the other hand also not on their side as they failed to beat Gorenje away from home last season in what was rookie year for Slovenian vice-champions. By all this they found themselves in some kind of a must win situation because a loss in Slovenia might jeopardize their SEHA F4 placement which is club's main goal in regional competition.
Will Zagreb 'Lions' finally manage to catch the right rhytm or will we on Tuesday see yet another proof of good form Zeljko Babic and his players are in lately?
Kasim Kamenica, PPD Zagreb coach:
It's fair to say moment is not the best for us after the loss in Barcelona. We'll have to prepare the match in only 1 training session. Match in Velenje will be really tough, I know their team well, know some of their players really good. They always have great atmosphere in the stands. We'll have to play really good in case we want to achieve a good result and make an additional step towards F4 placement.
Matevz Skok, PPD Zagreb goalkeeper:
I expect a really tough match against a team which is playing really good lately with strong defense and quick counters. We must deliver a good team performance in order to beat them. Atmosphere is good, we're all together in good and bad and the goal is to prove that on the court. We'll do everything to win - match is really important for F4. I repeat, this will be a tough match but I expect us to win it.
Zeljko Babic, Gorenje Velenje coach:
PPD Zagreb is a quality team which is competing in Champions League's strongest groups. They have an excellent coach and are really good in transition. It will be extremely difficult to repeat a good game from Elverum. If we want to achieve a good result we must remain focused throughout the full course of the match.
Matjaz Brumen, Gorenje Velenje player:
We have a lot of matches to play in a short period of time. We delivered a really good performance on Saturday against Elverum and now our goal is to do the same and beat Zagreb. If we manage to do that it will be a great triumph. Croatian champs don't have the best results lately but that doesn't mean it will be easy to beat them. I hope we'll on Tuesday in front of crowded hall show good performance and in the end celebrate new points.
Derby of the round is scheduled for Tuesday (20.45 CET) and will be broadcasted on Arena Sport channels, EHF TV and Slovenian Sport TV.