‘King Tomislav’ playing hall will on Friday evening host the encounter between two teams that have, with their match in Macedonia, opened this season of SEHA – Gazprom League - Nexe and Vardar 1961.
Both teams are waiting for the game in good mood. Nexe’s players have not lost a single match so far this year and the ‘Red&Blacks’ have, with the away wins against Vojvodina in SEHA and versus Montpellier in EHF Champions League managed to clear out the bitter taste left after the home loss versus Croatian vice-champions. It is clear that Macedonians will be looking to take revenge for that loss on Friday but Nexe have been playing so good lately that coach David Davis and his players have a really difficult job ahead of them.
Hosts won’t be able to count on Tomic in this one with Markusic most likely ending up sidelined as well. On the positive side, back-court shooters Moslavac and Manci Micevic are back which will give coach Tamse’s team an additional dimension both offensively and defensively. Vardar have, on the other side, celebrated against Montpellier on Wednesday which means they will have to figure everything out on the way to Croatia. So far, two of their most important offensive assets are Timur Dibirov and Yoel Cuni Morales.
Match is scheduled for Friday (20.00 CET) and will be broadcasted live on Arena Sport channels, MRT and Sport TV.
Branko Tamse, Nexe coach:
On Friday we will play a very well-balanced Vardar team. We’ve seen their match against Montpellier and we are aware this is going to be one tough match for us. Goal is to rotate the team as much as possible and deliver the best outing we’re capable of delivering at the moment. Schedule we’re dealing with is quite tough and we’re going to need help of our fans once again. After two months we’ll once again have Moslavac and Manci Micevic available but we won’t be able to count on Tomic and possibly Markusic. However, we’ve already proved we’re capable of delivering a great performance as a team no matter who is missing.
Sasa Barisic Jaman, Nexe player:
We have a four-game winning streak behind us which is extremely important for our confidence. The feeling within the team is really amazing at the moment and I feel like anyone can sense it watching our games. Tomorrow we’ll play two-time European champions Vardar. Great team which we’ve already managed to beat this season and they will surely look to take revenge for that on Friday. We’re playing in front of our fans this time and I’m sure they will once again be a key factor for us.
David Davis, Vardar 1961 coach:
I’m expecting a difficult match in Nasice. We have a tough away match in Montpellier behind us and we’ll have to find a way to both take some rest but also prepare in the best possible way for what is waiting for us. I feel like after this win against Montpellier everyone believes more in this new system we are trying to implement. We’ll have to be fully focused on Friday and deliver our very best.
Martin Karapalevski, Vardar 1961 player:
Nexe is full of great players who are capable of delivering a solid outing, especially on the defensive side of the court. Taking into consideration the fact that we won’t have a lot of time to prepare it is clear that a very difficult match is ahead of us but we are of course going to do our best to win it. Goal is to keep on playing on the highest possible level.