There are three more rounds left until the end of the group stage of another edition of Europe's most elite club handball competition – EHF Champions League. The only SEHA – Gazprom League team that has already secured its place in the knock-out phase of the competition is Telekom Veszprem with PPD Zagreb, Meshkov, Motor Zaporozhye and Vardar still fighting for their place among the best of the best.
(Group B) THW Kiel – Telekom Veszprem
Round 12 begins on Wednesday with the clash of titans in Germany – THW Kiel versus Telekom Veszprem. Hungarians are currently only two points behind first-placed Kiel in the standings and they’ll surely do whatever they can to come out on top in this one and take revenge for the tough loss they’ve suffered in the first part of the season at home (31:37). In the last round coach Davis and his guys were dominant in Portugal which suggests they are in good form after the winter break and it will be interesting to see whether they can keep their winning streak alive playing on one of the hottest courts in Europe at the moment.
(Group B) Montpellier – Meshkov Brest
After last round and a win in Zaporozhye, Meshkov Brest will on Saturday take on Champions League winners from two seasons ago – French Montpellier. In their premier encounter of the season Meshkov were in a narrow match at home defeated 25:27. Belarusians are currently seventh, only three points behind Vardar and a place which would help them secure the spot in the knock-out phase for themselves. However, it won’t be easy because Montpellier are doing a really good job this season and are only three points behind second-placed Telekom Veszprem.
(Group B) Vardar – Motor Zaporozhye
Macedonian Vardar and Ukrainian Motor Zaporozhye will on Saturday face off in another SEHA derby of the Champions League. ‘Red&Black’ are going through a tough period with Dainis Kristopans signing with Füchse Berlin and Pavel Atman joining Spartak Moscow on Wednesday but even without them Vardar will surely be looking to get what would be an important win considering the fact they are, with three round to go, only three points ahead of seventh-positioned Meshkov Brest. Last round’s loss at home against Meshkov has on the other side severely reduced Motor’s chances of reaching the next phase but an eventual win in Skopje would without doubt reignite the fire for coach Lanevich and his guys.
(Group A) Barcelona – PPD Zagreb
PPD Zagreb have also in the last round severely reduced their chances of reaching the knock-out phase after a home loss against Flensburg. ‘Lions’ are currently three points behind sixth-positioned Celje and in order to get through they need two wins in remaining three rounds. After the away match against Barcelona they’ll also welcome Aalborg and then travel to Paris to meet PSG. Despite of the fact reaching the next phase seems quite unlikely, coach Vujovic and his guys most definitely won’t surrender against anyone but fight until the very last minute. In their premier match of the season against Spanish champs they were completely outplayed with 19:36.
EHFCL Round 12 schedule for SEHA – Gazprom League teams:
Wednesday (19.00 CET) THW Kiel – Telekom Veszprem
Saturday (17.15 CET) Montpellier – Meshkov Brest
Saturday (17.30 CET) Vardar – Motor Zaporozhye
Saturday (20.00 CET) Barcelona – PPD Zagreb