Without doubt - the biggest SEHA - Gazprom League derby. Three-time champs Vardar against one-time trophy winners from Zagreb. Macedonians are leading the table with 40 points and Zagreb are second with 31. Both with secured F4 tickets but don’t even think this will be a match in which either of two teams won’t give their best and that’s what makes it so special. They are both still feeling the fatigue after tough Champions League encounters they played in during the weekend. Vardar feel short in Nantes and PPD Zagreb failed to stun Szeged but losses certainly aren’t something they’d like to keep on pilling up. To make the things even more interesting, Vardar so far have 13 wins and a draw with PPD Zagreb having the chance to put an end to an amazing streak. In their premier clash of the season Vardar celebrated a 30:23 win in Skopje.
It’s not easy to guess which players will be able to suit up and play on Tuesday on either side with the end of the week bringing both teams key Champions League matches which will decide much on their future in European best club competition. Vardar will look to win and secure position No.1 hosting Wisla and PPD Zagreb will try to catch Last 16 train playing Kristianstad at home. However, they will without doubt both be highly motivated for this one as well. Zagreb will probably be able to count on their newly-acquired player, new-old Petar Medic who arrived from Dubrava a few days ago.
Zlatko Saracevic, PPD Zagreb coach:
We’re aware of the quality opponent we’ll face on Tuesday has. Quite a bad moment to play this match for both teams I guess as we had some tough away Champions League matches to play only a few days ago. We’ll try to deliver a good performance, spare some players probably, give others a chance to prove what they can and of course try to win it in case a chance for that emerges.
Dobrivoje Markovic, PPD Zagreb player:
Tough match for both of us I believe. I think we need a positive result from this one more than they need it really as they already booked No.1 position in SEHA League but of course it doesn’t mean much. I’d like to invite the fans to come and support us in this one.
Raul Gonzales, Vardar coach:
We know it is never easy to play in Zagreb. They have good players who are always extra motivated when playing against us. We are pleased with how this season is going so far and of course we'd like to keep up the tempo in this one as well as in all the matches to come. We didn't have much time to prepare but I know my players like to play in Zagreb and fans are surely poised for a great match.
Martin Popovski, Vardar player:
Playing in Zagreb is always one of SEHA league's hardest matches of the season. It will surely be a good one this time but also a tough one for us as we didn't have much time to rest and prepare after a hard away match in Champions League. Despite of everything we must look to give our best and try to remain undefeated during the full course of the season.
Match is scheduled for 20.30 CET and will be broadcasted on ehf TV, Sport TV (Slovenia), MRT (Macedonia) and Arena Sport channels.