European derby in Nasice as Vardar comes to visit

Nexe - Vardar

Only three days after beating Dannish Ribe Esbjerg in EHF Cup's Qualification round 3 second leg and reaching the group stage of the competition Croatian vice-champions are expecting yet another big match with reigning both European and SEHA champs Vardar Skopje coming to visit on Tuesday (19.00 CET). Challenge will be that bigger knowing that Vardar is the only team in the league which, after seven round now, still has a clean sheet score.

History books are on Macedonian side as well with NEXE's latest triumph over Vardar already being three years behind us. Vardar are in great form displaying pure dominance in both regional and Champions League and it is clear they are favorites in this one. However, fully crowded hall gave Slavonian 'Thunder' additional self-confidence booster only three days ago against Ribe and there is no reason for that not to happen again versus favored Macedonians. This will also be a historic day for the city with 'Red&Black' being the first European champions to come and play in Nasice.

Hrvoje Horvat, NEXE coach:
Latest EHF Cup match showed our players the right way to play in each competition including SEHA - Gazprom League. Considering the match against Vardar, I see it as an easy match for us. Don't get me wrong, but Vardar have both strength and power. By that they are in good form and I believe we mustn't enter the match with any kind of burden but use it to see where we stand against Europe's best. Surely, it won't be a friendly match as our players will all be highly motivated. Goal is to keep the match narrow for as long as possible. We'll try to take advantage of their fatigue after playing a tough CL match on road during the weekend. 

Ante Gadza, NEXE player:
Vardar will surely be a bait for audience. However, I also feel like we alone deserve for the hall to be fully crowded. I hope fans will see the way we're playing, hustling. We want to enjoy the match and give our best in it.

Raul Gonzales, Vardar coach:
After the match in Germany it is time to get back to SEHA Gazprom League. Our goals are clear - we want to keep the first place. We will play a good team which often uses power-play actions so we'll have to prepare for that. There is not much time for us to prepare for the clash but I somehow believe we'll continue with good outings in SEHA Gazprom League.

Janja Vojvodic, Vardar player:
NEXE often play seven-on-six but so do many others in both CL and SEHA so I believe we already had enough chances to prepare for that. They play good on their court, have good atmosphere in the hall and a young team. We are favorites but as always we must prove it on the court because you never know what you can expect on road. We certainly respect them. 

Match will be broadcasted on Arena Sport channels, EHF TV, Sport TV (Slovenia) and MRT (Macedonia).