Probably the biggest surprise of a young SEHA season – NEXE Nasice, will on Tuesday play a derby match against reigning champions Vardar in their Jane Sandaski sports hall in Skopje. Match is scheduled for 20.45 CET.
With a win against Meshkov Brest in Champions League behind them, Vardar are expected to keep up with solid performances in order to be ready for what's ahead of them in a few days and that is a very important duel against Barcelona. NEXE are on the other side arriving to Skopje positioned above 'Red&Black' on League's table and they've already proved this season their intentions are quite serious which means they most definitely won't surrender against four-time regional league champions. It is important to note that three tough away matches against Vardar, Meshkov and PPD Zagreb are ahead of NEXE Nasice and that those matches will prove if Croatian vice-champions really do have what it takes to possibly go all the way this season.
It is also interesting that with the recent signing of Halil Jaganjac Slavonian 'Thunder' now have two players in top 5 SEHA best scorers so far this season – Jaganjac (35) and Vozab (37).
Roberto Parrondo, Vardar coach:
A tough match against a quality opponent is ahead of us. We’ve analysed some of their matches and realized they like to switch defensive schemes often which can be hard to adapt to. That is why we must look to be efficient on the offensive side of the court. In defense we’ll have to focus both on their playmakers as well as back-court shooters which also won’t be easy but we’re playing at home and the goal is to win the match.
Dejan Milosavljev, Vardar goalkeeper:
I believe after two SEHA defeats in a row we’ll on Tuesday give our max to come out victorious against NEXE. We know they are coming to Skopje to win the match but we must not allow it. Match is quite important for us both for SEHA League and as preparation for Barcelona so I believe we’ll be ready. We don’t want to disappoint our fans which is why we’ll look to give our best to get this win.
Hrvoje Horvat, NEXE coach:
Goal in this match will be to improve our attitude, start matches in a better way and give everything we’ve got each time we step out there. It’s not hard to motivate the team when playing Vardar. I’m still not sure who will suit up for the match because we most likely won’t risk anything with players who are dealing with any kind of pain because of the important EHF Cup matches ahead of us.
Marin Jelinic, NEXE player:
It's great to be back after an eight-month long break. Vardar have a great team full of quality players but our goal will be to find their weaknesses and try to take advantage of them. It would be great to take three points home from Skopje.