Croatian derby with stakes higher than ever

Nexe - PPD Zagreb

PPD Zagreb will on Tuesday (20.00 CET) in Varazdin host NEXE Nasice in what will be the second SEHA - Gazprom League Croatian derby of the season. In the first one, on the season-opening night, NEXE managed to reach their first ever win over multiple Croatian champions in what was the first sign of how serious their intentions are this season. Hrvoje Horvat and his players have been dominating the League ever since in what so far appears to be their best SEHA campaign ever as they are confidently marching towards their first final tournament appearance. However, PPD Zagreb are also playing better now than they were back in the beginning of the season and by that they are doing good in both regional league and EHF Champions League which is why coach Cervar and his guys will most definitely look to get their revenge for SEHA season opener loss in Nasice. We’re without doubt up to a great one!

Lino Cervar, PPD Zagreb coach: 
Matches between two of the best Croatian teams are always tight and interesting. They managed to defeat us in the first round of the competition and I have to say I really respect them. They have a well-balanced roster with some great individuals like Jaganjac, Sipic, Tomic and others. Tough match is ahead of us that’s for sure, one in which we’ll really have to give our best in order to come out victorious. We’re dealing with some injuries at the moment and we already know we won’t be able to count on Ravnic and maybe even Susnja but despite of everything we’ll give our best and see what it eventually brings us.

Ivan Srsen, PPD Zagreb player:
Croatian derby, tough match. No doubt about that. NEXE have a good team, they tend to use powerplay actions often with two good line players but in case we manage to once again deliver a strong defensive performance like on Saturday I feel like we’ll come out with a victory. We’ll without doubt look to give our best out there no matter what. 

Hrvoje Horvat, NEXE coach: 
We’ve really managed to catch the right rhythm lately and now we’ll play a team with a lot of national team players but we’ve already proved everyone we can play against high-quality opponents. I expect this to be a good match and expect us to deliver a solid performance. We’ve had a bit more time to prepare for this one but I don’t think this will be crucial but who will be able to remain disciplined and calm. Good thing is we’ve heard a lot of our fans will come to Varazdin to support us. We still don’t know who will be in roster for this one with some of our players still recovering from minor injuries but despite of that, whoever gets to play has to give his best out there. 

Marin Sipic, NEXE player: 
Our form is excellent at the moment and we honestly can’t wait for the match against Zagreb. They are also in good form at the moment and will look to play a tough match and we’ll have to respond. We must play the way we do during the training sessions and I really hope we’ll deliver a good performance in Varazdin. Our fans are our biggest motivation and because of them we’ll really try to give our best.