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1 month ago - 11/16/2018

Play-off race heats up in Round 8

Winter time is coming, but the fight for the VELUX EHF Champions League Group Phase Knockout will heat handball fans up to the maximum.

There is no room for slip-ups anymore in Groups C and D as a number of teams face do-or-die games this weekend in their battle for the coveted play-off spots and, ultimately, the chance to challenge Europe’s best teams in the Last 16.

The crunch match in Group C takes place in Silkeborg on Sunday, when Bjerringbro and Presov can solve the puzzle in their group. Some 600 kilometres up north, in Norway, an expected sell-out crowd will cheer for Elverum against Dinamo Bucuresti, in a must-win game for the hosts to stay in contention in Group D, where leaders Wisla Plock have already won their midweek match against Thun.

GROUP C

Besiktas Mogaz (TUR) vs HC Metalurg (MKD)
Saturday 17 November, 16:00 hrs local time, live on ehfTV

  • With three games to go, both teams are out of the play-off contest

  • Those are the two teams with the most goals conceded in Group C

  • Hosts want to build on their improved second-half performance in Presov, while Metalurg are coming off an eight-day break

  • Besiktas lead 3-0-0 in the head-to-head stats

Sporting CP (POR) vs Chekhovskie Medvedi (RUS)
Saturday 17 November, 18:30 hrs local time, live on ehfTV

  • For Sporting, every game is now a must win in the play-off race

  • Sporting have lost two of their three homes games this season

  • Carlos Ruesga, who scored the last-second goal against Medvedi in the first match, says “all the Champions League games are a final for us”

Bjerringbro/Silkeborg (DEN) vs TATRAN Presov (SVK)
Sunday 18 November, 13:30 hrs local time, live on ehfTV

  • Bjerringbro can all but lock up a play-off spot if they beat Presov by at least three goals on Sunday

  • Bjerringbro have won all three home games, and Presov all three away games so far in Group C

  • Bjerringbro’s only defeat came in Presov, 26:24

  • Both teams also met in the EHF Cup Group Phase last season, and each won their home game

  • The best attack (BSV) faces the best defence (Presov)

GROUP D
Abanca Ademar Leon (ESP) vs Riihimäen Cocks (FIN)
Saturday 17 November, 19:30 hrs local time, live on ehfTV

  • Leon need a victory to stay in contention for a play-off spot

  • Cocks buoyed by their first win of the campaign against Thun last weekend

  • The two sides could not be separated in Round 1, after Leon came from behind to snatch a 19:19 draw

  • The hosts must contend with Cocks’ Nico Rönnberg, who is the competition’s top scorer with 48 goals

Elverum Handball (NOR) vs Dinamo Bucuresti (ROU)
Sunday 18 November, 18:10 hrs local time, live on ehfTV

  • Elverum expecting a sold-out Terningen Arena for the first time, with 2,500 spectators

  • A must-win match for the hosts, who sit two points behind second-placed Dinamo

  • Dinamo won the reverse fixture 26:24 in Round 1

  • Two prolific scorers come face-to-face – Elverum’s Sigvaldi Gudjonsson (40 goals) and Bucharest’s Amine Bannour (46)

Wacker Thun (SUI) vs Orlen Wisla Plock (POL) 23:25 (13:14)
Thursday 15 November, match review

Author: Tomas Cuncik, Chris O'Reilly / ew