If you’re a fan of Kiel or Atletico then you’re in luck today because if you’ve got two chances to see your boys on British TV.
The lovely folks at Premier Sports will be showing today’s EHF Champions League group match in full at 4.15pm UK (Sky Channel 428) whereas British Eurosport 2 (Sky 411) will be showing highlights at 11.30pm.
British Eurosport 2 is also your home for the Euro 2012 Daily Show. Throughout the tournament at midnight and 5.45am they will be showing an EHF-produced review of the day’s events. No live coverage that I can see – for that you’ll need to head over to the EHF Euro YouTube channel.
The Match of the Week is coming to British television. Premier Sports – a subscription channel on the Sky platform on channel 428 – has today announced that it will be showing the Tom O’Brannagáin commentated fixtures either live or on delay as well as the weekly Rewind Show. The first match to be shown will be Kadetten Schaffhausen v Pick Szeged on Saturday afternoon.
There is no word in the announcement as to whether this will stop British Eurosport 2 offering their own, sparser, coverage or whether the Match of the Week will now be blacked out on the EHF TV live stream.
First up, the results from the first day of the group stages:
Group A: Chekhovskie Medvedi 38:31 RK Partizan; SG Flensburg Handewitt 37:37 Montpellier
Group B: IK Savehof 35:31 HCM Constanza
Group D: Kadetten Schaffhausen 23:33 Barcelona
Modesty prevents us from saying that we called all those correctly. Anyway, onto Friday’s previews …
Group B: MKB Veszprém KC – Celje Pivovarna Lasko (4pm UK, live stream)
Veszprém of Hungary were finalists in 2002 but their best showing in recent years has been to make it to the final eight and in the last two years they’ve had to settle for elimination at the first knock out stage. Their Slovakian opponents today have an even less illustrious history in the Champions League but were Cup Winners Cup semi finalists last year. The points will be staying in Hungary.
Group C: Croatia Osiguranje Zagreb – Pick Szeged (5.30pm UK, live stream)
From Hungarians at home to Hungarians abroad. Pick Szeged won twice in last year’s group stages whereas Zagreb made it to the quarter finals and gave Kiel a hell of a fright. I’m going for another home victory.
Group A: Reale Ademar Leon – HSV Hamburg (6pm UK, live stream)
HSV have had a topsy-turvy Bundesliga so far – losing their opening game to Wetzlar but drawing with SG Flensburg-Handewitt. Reale Ademar Leon are unbeaten in the Asobal but their most recent match was a somewhat surprising draw against Academia Octavio. Which is a long way of saying that this is the most interesting match of the day. A draw.
Group C: Gorenje Velenje – St. Petersburg (7pm UK, live stream)
Gorenje Velenje reached the quarter finals of the EHF Cup last season where they had the misfortune to meet Rhein Neckar Loewen – but they still only lost by 3 over the 2 legs. St Petersburg are perrenial runners-up in the Russian championship and they haven’t yet made it out of the group stages in the Champions League – but they have half a dozen new players looking to prove themselves and I’m backing them to win a close one here today.
The live internet schedule for the first seven weeks of the men’s EHF Champions League group stage was released this morning. It is one of the pleasures of following handball that Europe’s premier handball tournament can be watched by anybody with an internet connection and the added bonus is that one match per week gets given special status and gets commentary in English provided by the lovably bonkers Tom O’Brainnagan. In addition a sizeable number of games are streamed without commentary both via ehftv.com and Bet365’s live streaming service.
The matches to get the commentary are listed below. Unsurprisingly the matches between Kiel and Madrid will both be shown.
30 September, 5pm UK
Atletico Madrid v THW Kiel
6 October, 4.15pm UK
Pick Szeged v Kadetten Schaffhausen
14 October, 6pm UK
Montpellier v HSV Hamburg
21 October, 6pm UK
Chambery v Kielce
18 November, 5pm UK
Metalurg v Kielce
25 November, 4.15pm UK
SG Flensburg-Handewitt v HSV Hamburg
2 December, 4.15pm UK
THW Kiel v Atletico Madrid
In addition, though perhaps not as exciting is British Eurosport’s schedule. They don’t have anything planned for match days 1 and 3 and for match day 2 will be showing one match on delay at midnight on 7 October (repeated at 10am on the 8th) and for match day 4 there will be a one hour highlights package at 8am on October 22nd. All times UK.
If you want to know more about the EHF Champions League group stage itself see here.
If you could tear yourself away from Saturday tea time TV there were a couple of live handball matches streaming today. You could have seen Atletico Madrid make it two wins from two at the start of their Asobal season and then washed that down with HSV Hamburg’s come from behind victory at Hanover. Don’t worry if you didn’t, the matches are probably archived for later viewings if such things take your fancy.
Tomorrow there are also two matches, one from the Asobal and one from the Bundesliga. At 4.30pm you can see Fuechse Berlin (it means Berlin Foxes) have a tilt at THW Kiel. Fuechse joined Kiel in the Champions League Final 4 last season but anything other than a victory for the zebras would be a surprise. Then at 7pm it’s Naturhouse la Rioja against Valladolid. Both teams lost their first match but were both top half finishers last season so it should be close.
Head over to here to watch the games. If I can get myself onto a laptop that can tweet *and* stream at the same time I’ll have some live words of almost-wisdom on the Handball Views twitter feed which is @handballviewsuk.
The Spanish season throws off in style on Saturday with Atlético Madrid taking on FC Barcelona in the Super Copa. Barcelona have taken the Super Cup 14 times and Madrid four (including three times as BM Cuidad Real). The boys in red and white are the current holders and they beat Barcelona in last season’s Copa del Rey – although Barcelona took the main domestic prize, the Asobal title. The bookies make Atlético very slight favourites to win both this match and the league, although it’s likely to boil down to how the two teams do in their head to head fixtures.
Atlético have had an interesting off season with both Didier Dinart and Luc Abalo heading to the newly-flush Paris but they’ve also captured the signature of Ivano Balic. Barcelona were a little quieter over the summer although it might be worth noting that 2002 World Player of the Year Arpad Šterbik joined them from Madrid although that was 10 years ago.
Obviously nobody knows what to expect in the first match of the season but my guess would be for a close game with some nice bits of niggle. The atmosphere should be good though: it’s being played in the 15,000 capacity Palacio Vistalegres. That’s the home of Atlético Madrid.
Still want to see some reasonably top-level handball in the narrow window between the end of the Olympics and the start of the club season? Well, cast your internet feed in the direction of Montenegro as the official site of the IHF Women’s Youth World Championship will be live-streaming the games from this year’s competition which starts today.
There have been three iterations of this tournament so far and, remarkably, the nine medals available in that time have been won by eight different countries with only Denmark (winners in 2006, bronze in 2008) claiming two. The current holders are Sweden whereas France have lost in the bronze medal match in every single edition of the tournament.
Twenty countries are competing this time around beginning with a round-robin of four groups of five with the top two in each progressing to the quarter finals. Day 1 sees eight matches, most of which are probably foregone conclusions (e.g. Netherlands are 1/5000 to beat Paraguay) but the match between Portugal and Angola (1500 BST) looks intriguing. As for who will win the tournament I’m going for the hosts who seem to have a slightly easier group than some other big-name countries and will then fly to the final inspired by the exploits of their senior counterparts in London.
And France will lose the bronze medal match as that’s the law in these championships.
The official page with link to live stream is here.
And the wiki page with the fixtures laid our nicely is here.
British handball fans – both those who discovered the game through the Olympics and those who have been around for a bit longer – will (hopefully) be pleased to know that British Eurosport 2 will be showing this year’s EHF Champions League.
This is the top-tier competition for clubs across Europe that begins with group stages in September and culminates with the Final 4 weekend in May. Last year, THW Kiel won the competition to complete a remarkable treble of Bundesliga, German Cup and EHF Champions League.
Matches will be shown from September onwards. British Eurosport 2 is available on Sky channel 411 and Virgin channel 525 and you can check the listings here.