It’s Champions League time for SEHA teams!


The Velux EHF Champions League started and it's time to shortly switch our focus to the most illustrious club handball competition and the six SEHA teams that feature in it. We know Vardar are the defending champions in the Champions League, but the competition is stronger than ever this time. Apart from Vardar, it’s safe to say that all the other SEHA teams are going to play significant roles in the Champions League.

PPD Zagreb is the first one to start the Champions League campaign when it comes to SEHA - Gazprom League teams. They are visiting the Swedish champions Kristianstad, a team they had also played last season. PPD Zagreb will hope to play better than last season, since the Swedes beat the Croatian champions 29:22. Zagreb eventually got some sort of revenge as they managed to win at home in the second match against Kristianstad. Head coach Kasim Kamenica admitted after the game against Vojvodina, that he managed to rest some of his players in order for the team to be fully fit against Kristianstad. We are also excited to see Zarko Markovic in action for the first time!

Next, we have Meshkov Brest playing hosts to Kielce. The Polish team won the Champions League in 2015/2016 in one of the most spectacular matches in recent memory. The Belarusians know that winning this match will be a difficult task, but they are confident in their ability to cause an upset. However, history is on the side of Kielce. These two teams played 4 teams in the previous two edition of the Champions League, with the Polish side coming out on top every time. It will be interesting to see if Meshkov finally has what it takes to beat them. 

Saturday is reserved for Champions League matches featuring SEHA - Gazprom League teams. Slovenian champions Celje are playing against Veszprem, a well-known team to all SEHA fans. The Hungarian team won the SEHA - Gazprom League title twice, but decided to leave the league this season. Celje has quite a negative record against Veszprem, they have failed to win a match against their opponnents since 2007. Of course, head coach Branko Tamse is aware of the opposition’s strength, but in the press conference, he stated that his team works very well and are confident coming into the match. Celje will also hope to enjoy a great fans’ support from the stands!

In groups C and D, we have one SEHA team playing on Saturday and one on Sunday. Metalurg are traveling to France to meet the 14-time French champions Montpellier on Saturday at 17:30. The French team are of course heavy favorites, but Cervar’s Metalurg will try to surprise them with their youth and energy. On Sunday, Slovenian vice-champions Gorenje are hosting the Spanish team Ademar Leon. It’s certainly a relief for Gorenje knowing they had recorded their first win of the season in the last SEHA - Gazprom League match against Dinamo. However, a more difficult match awaits for the Slovenians this time.

Last, but not least, the reigning European champions, Vardar, start their European title defense against another Polish team - Wisla Plock. Vardar started this season the same way they ended the last one. The team is playing terrific, even though Luka Cindric and Rogerio Moraes are out due to injuries. Vardar are the firm favorites entering the match, but every team will look at them as a team to beat. Are they poised to repeat the last season’s success?

6 SEHA teams are in action in the first round of the Champions League this weekend. We want to wish good luck to all of them, and we look forward to seeing them back for the 4th round of the SEHA - Gazprom League next week.


Saturday, September 16th:
16:00 IFK Kristianstad - PPD Zagreb
16:00 Meshkov Brest - PGE Vive Kielce
17:30 Montpellier Handball - Metalurg
17:30 Celje PL - Telekom Veszprem

Sunday, September 17th:
17:00 Gorenje Velenje - Ademar Leon
19:00 Orlen Wisla Plock - Vardar