Stepančić diagnosed torn ACL ahead of Croatian derby in Našice

Stepančiću dijagnosticirana ruptura ligamenta pred hrvatski derbi u Našicama

Zagreb - Nexe

Big problem is what occupies PPD Zagreb ahead of tough clash against NEXE in SEHA Gazprom League's Croatian derby with Luka Stepančić being diagnosed torn ACL right after coming back from Germany and the match against Flensburg which will keep amazing right back away from court for about 6 months. Zagreb will have to manage to deliver a good performance in order to bring points back home from Našice with match scheduled for Sunday 17.00 CET. Live coverage will be on Arena sport chanel.

Multiple Croatian champions still have favorite role despite of Stepančić' injury but this time NEXE will have a sports hall full of their supporters behind them and being their 'eighth player'. Match comes in a good moment for NEXE with EHF Cup's match against Nantes soonly on their schedule. Derbies always carry a bit additional motivation as well as motive flr each player. NEXE have managed to beat Zagreb 7 years ago last time but they keep on getting better from season to season. Has their time arrived?

Zdenko Kordi, NEXE's coach:

I belive Zagreb' results since coach Vujović took over the leading position are really great and an amazing promotion of Croatian handball Of course, match won't be easy, Našice will in my opinion host a real spectacle. I always say that when we're playing against a team which is better than us we have some additional task we have to fulfill. I can't wait for the match.

Albin Eter, NEXE's left wing:

Last time we faced Zagreb, in our first duel of the season in Zagreb we were very close. In case we once again manage to enter a narrow finish I hope we'll be more focused and reach those three points. We must play good in defence and score easy goals because that is the only way.

Veselin Vujović, PPD Zagreb's coach:

Regardless of fatigue and injuries we must play as good we can and show our maximum. It will be very tough match considering our first clash this season in Zagreb. Stepančić' injury surely is a big problem for us but we have to find a way to win this. We have to show we're among TOP 3 teams in SEHA League as well as one of the best in Champions League.

Luka Raković, PPD Zagreb's right wing:

We're now facing one of the toughest away matches in the League. Playing in Našice is always a big challenge for us and we know we have to perform at our top level in order to reach expectations and take points home. We lost Stepančić for the whole season and on top of that Šušnja got injured on the last training. It won't be easy but we know what we want and that is victory. We have to prove why we're favorites in this one on court.