After Rhein-Neckar Löwen and HBC Nantes threw off the VELUX EHF Champions League Last 16 on Wednesday, attention is now turning into five more first-leg games this weekend, for example the Match of the Week between 2 competitors that understand eachother well: H C PPD Zagreb and H-C Vardar.
Zagreb, holding this summer growing season ’s presence list of 9,134 audiences, expect the support in their fans can help them get a favourable effect contrary to the 2017 winners.
Both groups met in 2016/17 along with 2017/18, together with Vardar winning three times and Zagreb once
Zagreb come in Last 16 after two decades
Zagreb (388 targets surrendered ) and Vardar (390) revealed a Number of the greatest defensive play in the group stage
Both groups already met twice this year, with each winning their residence match in the SEHA League: Zagreb 26:23, Vardar 28:23
Last-16, FIRST LEG
H-C PPD Zagreb (CRO) versus H C Vardar (MKD)
Saturday 23 March, 20:30 hrs local time, go on ehfTV.com
Taking under account the performance during the collection phase, 2017 VELUX EHF Champions League winners H-C Vardar will be considered by several as favorites in this Balkan derby in the Last 16.
After four successive victories on the first day of the growing season, they fundamentally took the next spot in Group A, while Zagreb had four successes, three draws and seven defeats to finish sixth in Group B.
Back in Januarythe Croatian club entered the second region of the growing season with a new coach since Branko Tamse substituted Lino Cervar. The newly appointed coach introduced a faster style of handball, also has recently fulfilled his purpose by hitting the Last 16.
Last season, Zagreb didn’t get past the group phase while Vardar made it all the way into this VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne again. In 2013, Zagreb and Vardar shared the spoils because they each won their home game in the regular life of their SEHA-Gazprom League, together with both advancing into the four-team finals tournament early April.
Varder have left behind an injury crisis as coach Roberto Garcia Parrondo could enter Saturday’s Match of the Week in full advantage. His counterpart Tamse, though, will overlook line player Leon Susnja, that underwent surgery recently.
Although the stats tend to offer Vardar the advantage, Zagreb will be willing to put on a strong fight as well as backed by their home crowd, give themselves a opportunity to seem from the quarterfinals for the first time since the 2015/16 season.
TEXT: Amina Idrizi / ew