After yesterday’s lone offering, which finished Constanta 27:37 Veszprèm (making it two from two for the Hungarians), today sees two matches in the EHF Champions League and three out of the four teams have realistic ambitions of progressing well beyond the group stages. All the matches are live on EHF TV and previews and links are below. Please correct any glaring errors in the comments.
Group D: Dinamo Minsk – Croatia Osiguranje Zagreb (5.30pm UK, live stream)
Minsk powered past Besiktas in their two-legged qualifying match but came unstuck in Berlin in the opening match of the main group stage. Zagreb, perennial visitors to the knockout stages, had a more comfortable opening day as they eased past Pick Szeged by opening up a 15:8 half time lead and having a relax in the second half. The Croatians will be looking for a bit more from last season’s club top scorer in Europe (and Zagreb native), Zlatko Horvat to overcome what might be a tricky match in Belarus. It would be a surprise if the result wasn’t a victory for the away team.
Group A: HSV Hamburg – Chekhovskie Medvedi (7pm UK, live stream)
This match between the top two in Group A is a properly enticing prospect. HSV won away in Spain in their opening match whilst the Russians were feasting at home on RK Partizan. Chekhovskie Medvedi reached the Final 4 in 2010 and presumably have designs on doing the same this year, as do the Hamburgers. The boys from the Bundesliga (2011 finalists – beating Chekhovskie Medvedi on the way in the quarter finals) relied on 9 goals from Hans Lindberg in their victory over Reale Ademar Leon and he was similarly important in their dramatic qualifying win over Saint-Raphael Var. Close him down and the Russians will be confident of winning but let him loose and it’ll likely be too tough an ask for them. It should be a great match whatever happens.