EHFCL Round 13 preview: Zagreb and Meshkov to keep their hopes alive, Veszprem against Montpellier in MOTW

Filip Vistorop

There are two more rounds left until the end of EHF Champions League's group stage and Telekom Veszprem and Vardar have already secured a place for themselves in the knock-out stage. Motor Zaporozhye have, on the other hand, after last round's defeat against Vardar, lost all chances of reaching the next phase while PPD Zagreb and Meshkov need to be perfect in final two rounds if they want to get through to Last 16. Here is our EHF Champions League Round 13 preview for SEHA – Gazprom League teams.

(Group A) PPD Zagreb – Aalborg

'Lions' will on Saturday in Arena Zagreb face off against Danish Aalborg in a match in which the only outcome that keeps their chances of reaching the knock-out stage alive is a victory. In their premier encounter of the season, Croatian champs suffered a tough 30:20 defeat in Denmark and they’ll surely be motivated to get revenge in front of their own fans. If they do manage to defeat Aalborg, PPD Zagreb will in the last round have to defeat PSG in France if they want to advance through to the next round while at the same time hoping Celje don’t grab a single points in final two rounds.

(Group B) Motor Zaporozhye – Kielce

Motor Zaporozhye have in the last round suffered a tough defeat in Skopje which has put an end to their hopes of reaching the EHF Champions League’s Last 16. They will on Thursday, in what will be their final Champions League home match of the season, host Kielce with a wish to close CL chapter on a high note in front of their fans. Match is scheduled for 17.30 CET.

(Group B) Porto Sofarma – Vardar

Despite of the fact they are going through some difficult times, Vardar are still proving how great they are. ‘Red&Black’ have with a victory over Motor in the last round secured a place for themselves in the knock-out stage and now they will in Portugal against Porto look to solidify fifth place in the standings. In their premier encounter of the season Vardar were with 32:27 better than Portuguese side after trailing 14:16 at the half-time.

(Group B) Meshkov Brest – THW Kiel

Meshkov will in this round probably have the hardest job out of all SEHA – Gazprom League teams playing against THW Kiel. Germans are from round to round proving to be one of the best teams in Europe and are clearly aiming for the European title. However, it is never easy to play against Meshkov in Belarus. Belarusians will be extra motivated in this one knowing that only victory keeps their hopes of reaching the knock-out stage alive. If they manage to stun Kiel, Meshkov will in the final round look for a home win against Porto that would help them book a Last 16 ticket for themselves.

(Group B) Telekom Veszprem – Montpellier

In a match which EHF announced as the ‘Match of the Week’, Telekom Veszprem will on Sunday welcome French Montpellier. After last round’s defeat in Germany against Kiel, Veszprem are now only one points ahead of Montpellier and a win on Sunday would help them solidify group B runner-up spot. It is however going to be far from easy because Montpellier are proving to be one of Europe’s most quality teams and they will surely arrive to Hungary with an intention to stun favored hosts and take home important two points. Match is scheduled for 17.00 CET.

EHFCL Round 13 schedule for SEHA – Gazprom League teams:

Thursday (17.30 CET) Motor Zaporozhye – Kielce
Saturday (16.00 CET) Porto Sofarma – Vardar
Saturday (17.30 CET) Meshkov Brest – THW Kiel
Saturday (18.00 CET) PPD Zagreb – Aalborg
Sunday (17.00 CET) Telekom Veszprem - Montpellier