First round of SEHA – Gazprom League Play Off will host Serbian clash between Metaloplastika and Vojvodina. Two teams have already met this season. It was in the semi-final of the All-Serbian Cup in Pale with Vojvodina taking an easy 31:24 win.
New SEHA playing system provides all teams with an advantage of playing one match in front of their fans and Metaloplastika, legendary two-time Champions Cup winners from the 80's, have definitely proved they know how to make use of home-court advantage. Another good thing for them before the match is the fact their super-talented right winger and Serbian national team player Vukasin Vorkapic has finally recovered from a knee injury but it is still uncertain whether we'll see him play in the first match against Vojvodina.
Veselin Vukovic, Metaloplastika coach:
We've dealt with a lot of absences during the month of January, probably more than during the entire first half of the season with players dealing with minor injuries and colds. We're not asking for an excuse but it won't be easy for us to capture the right rhythm immediately. In those preparation matches I feel like we've had some good periods but that's far from what we've expected. Vojvodina are a better team at the moment but this will be a good chance for us to see where we are at the moment against a team which we'll probably fight for the domestic title somewhere in April. To be clear, I'm not underestimating anyone else but I just feel Vojvodina and Metaloplastika are main candidates. Despite of the fact whoever goes through will face Veszprem in Quarter-finals we'll do our best to first come out on top in Sabac and then hopefully deliver another strong outing in Novi Sad which would provide us with an opportunity to at least go to Veszprem.
Nemanja Gojkovic, Metaloplastika player:
We will do our best and our advantage is the fact that we play at home in front of our fans. We will come out as motivated as possible to win some positive result for a re-match in Novi Sad. As for our team, the atmosphere is good, we raise it day by day. We played friendly matches in the combined squad but the result did not come as we expected. However, this is a competitive match, a completely different story so I think we will be able to play a quality one.
Boris Rojevic, Vojvodina coach:
We'll be seriously weakened in this one, without at least four players and no right backs. We'll obviously do our best to adapt to the given situation. Metaloplastika have already proved to be a good team. Goals scored away from home might be the key in this matchup.
Strahinja Stankovic, Vojvodina player:
Several of my teammates are injured. It will be difficult but even without them we're still Vojvodina. We're not thinking about the second leg yet because our goal now is to win the first match. Sabac always provides a ”fiery” welcome and I don't expect anything less from them on Sunday.