28.02.2020 16:00

Winning streaks Benfica, Magdeburg put to the test

Rhein-Neckar Löwen threw off round 4 of the Men’s EHF Cup group phase on Wednesday with their fourth straight victory in group B, 36:25 against Liberbank Cuenca.

SL Benfica and SC Magdeburg are the other two teams that have won their first three matches.

This weekend, Benfica are travelling to KPR Gwardia Opole, who are still searching for their first point in group A. And Magdeburg are hosting group C runners-up HBC Nantes.

In the tight group D, Grundfos Tatabánya KC are also still unbeaten, but with two draws, ahead of their visit to PAUC Handball.

GROUP A

KPR Gwardia Opole (POL) vs SL Benfica (POR)
Saturday 29 February, 19:00 CET, live on ehfTV.com

  • Benfica got their third straight win last week, against Opole (29:24) in Lisbon
  • with only Polish players in their squad, Opole are still looking for their first points
  • Without injured Nuno Grilo, Petar Djordjic has taking a leading role for Benfica this competition

MT Melsungen (GER) vs Bjerringbro-Silkeborg (DEN)
Saturday 29 February, 20:45 CET, live on ehfTV.com

  • Gudmundur Gudmundsson, 2016 Olympic champion with Denmark, is the new coach of Melsungen
  • Bjerringbro-Silkeborg handed Melsungen their second defeat last week when the Danish side won 35:31 after a huge comeback
  • Bjerringbro-Silkeborg lost a midweek match against GOG in the Danish league

GROUP B

USAM Nimes Gard (FRA) vs TTH Holstebro (DEN)
Saturday 29 February, 19:00 CET, live on ehfTV.com

  • Nimes won the first match against Holstebro last Saturday, 30:28
  • Sharing second place with Cuenca on three points each, Nimes can open a two-point gap
  • TTH must win to keep any quarter-final hopes alive
  • Nimes won their midweek match in France (30:28 against Dunkerque), while Holstebro lost in Denmark (29:26 against Skanderborg)

Rhein-Neckar Löwen (GER) vs Liberbank Cuenca (ESP) 36:25 (21:13)
Wednesday 26 February, match review

GROUP C

RK Gorenje Velenje (SLO) vs Abanca Ademar Leon (ESP)
Saturday 29 February, 17:00 CET, live on ehfTV.com

  • both teams were still on zero points when they met last week in Spain, where Velenje won 29:26
  • Velenje’s Matic Verdinek is his team’s best scorer with 31 goals, Leon’s David Fernandez has scored 20 times
  • both teams lost their last domestic league game: Velenje 30:25 at Trebnje, Leon 26:23 against Granollers
  • Velenje are third in the Slovenian league, Leon second in Spain

SC Magdeburg (GER) vs HBC Nantes (FRA)
Sunday 1 March, 18:00 CET, live on ehfTV.com

  • Magdeburg beat Nantes 31:28 last week thanks to seven goals each of Erik Schmidt and Michael Damgaard
  • Magdeburg lead with the maximum six points, Nantes are on four
  • Magdeburg will already be confirmed as group winners if they beat Nantes and Leon do not lose at Velenje
  • in the first ever EHF Cup group phase, in 2012/13, Magdeburg won in Nantes and they played to a draw in Germany

GROUP D

Füchse Berlin (GER) vs BM Logroño La Rioja (ESP)
Sunday 1 March, 16:00 CET, live on ehfTV.com

  • Michael Roth took over as interim-coach at Füchse on Friday as the club parted ways with Velimir Petkovic after four years
  • Berlin and La Rioja are tied for second place with three points, after the Spanish side won the home game 26:25 last week
  • Füchse have not lost an EHF Cup home game since a 26:21 defeat against St.-Raphaël in February 2018
  • Füchse will be wihout injured key players Fabian Wiede, Dejan Milosavljev, Mattias Zachrisson and Paul Drux

PAUC Handball (FRA) vs Grundfos Tatabánya KC (HUN)
Sunday 1 March, 19:00 CET, live on ehfTV.com

  • PAUC led by five goals in the away game last week but Tatabánya managed to get a draw
  • Tatabánya lost their second straight domestic league game this week (36:25 against Szeged)
  • Tatabánya have only won one of their last six competitive matches
  • PAUC are with back Vid Kavticnik again, who has recovered from injury
Author: Peter Bruun, Kevin Domas, Tiago Nogueira, Björn Pazen / ew