|18.10.2016, 15:06||◄ last page|
GROUP A PREVIEW: Veszprém eager to stop Barcelona's run, while German duo out for victories after losses on home court
Unbeaten giants set to clash in Round 5
Before the VELUX EHF Champions League will have a two-week EHF EURO 2018 Qualification break, the fifth round of Group A will see a top duel at Barcelona and two German sides in favourite roles.
• Flensburg and Plock meet for the fifth time in 24 months
Currently Flensburg are in sixth position in the group, one place and two points ahead Plock, who took their so far only point in their draw against Veszprém.
It is already the fifth duel between both sides in 24 months, as they were drawn in the same groups in the 2014/15 and the 2015/16 seasons. While Flensburg won both encounters in the previous season, Plock took their last win in March 2015 31:29 on home court.
Though both sides have such a long Champions league tradition, it is the first time since 1999 that Barcelona and Veszprém face in a group match.
Later on, Barcelona constantly eliminated the Hungarian record champions in all knockout stages: Last 16, quarter-finals and the final. The overall statistic states 11 Barca wins, one draw and four Veszprém victories.
When Mikkel Hansen comes home, the host can even sell-out the biggest arena in Denmark: BSV move to Herning (capacity more than 13,500 fans) for the top match against Paris Saint-Germain and the homecoming of the two Danish Olympic champions Mikkel Hansen and Henrik Möllgaard.
But mainly it is the current World Handball player of the Year, who attracts the masses.
Bjerringbro-Silkeborg will have their fourth straight home match – and the confidence to cause a huge upset is high after the first home win against Plock (33:24). Having four points – all of them against direct opponents for a Last 16 spot – on their account, BSV can take the match quite easy, without pressure.
After their opening defeat at Kiel, PSG won all their three following matches, including the MOTW against Flensburg last Sunday, when Nikola Karabatic had his international comeback.
On the other hand, the comeback of Michael V. Knudsen boosted the confidence of BSV already against Plock as well as the news that coach Peter Bredsdorff-Larsen extended his contract until 2019. But still, and due to the width and quality of their squad, PSG are the favourites.
TEXT: Björn Pazen / bc