Vive Tauron Kielce, Vardar Skopje, and Rhein-Neckar Lowen considered to be the top favorites for winning group B in the EHF Champions League.
The EHF Champions League is about the start and GamingZion is about to prepare you with all the information in order to follow this immensely attractive sport event in sporting Europe. In the pre-qualification tournaments last week Tatran Presov and the Protugeese team ABC Uminho were the last teams to book their visas for the group C and D in this competition. Many of you who like to bet on sports in EU were probably surprised by the epilog, but that is sport. Yet, what makes the Champions League in handball an elite sports event are certainly in the first place the occurrences in groups A and B. This time we give you a review of the participants in group B.
Group B: a battle of three
The Group B is headed by the current Champions League winner, the Polish Vive Tauron Kielce. In what was one of the most exciting EHF Champions League finals we have ever witnessed, the team of Talant Duyshebaev succeed to overcome the goal difference and defeat in the end Hungarian Veszprem after the penalties with 39:38. They won the first champions League title in their history becoming in the same time the first Polish team with this epithet. This year’s Champions League groups doesn’t seem as imposing a big challenge on them. They know they have only two main rivals there, both of them old acquaintances: Vardar Skopje and Rhein-Neckar Lowen.
• Kielce to defend to Champions League title
• Vardar to finally make it to the Final Four
• Rhein-Neckar Lowen defends the pride of the German teams
The Croatian trio Denis Buntic, Ivan Cupic and Marin Sego has already left the club, but new Balkan players arrived more or less as their replacement: Filip Ivic from the team of Zagreb, Dean Bombac from the Hungarian Pick Szeged and Darko Djukic from Besiktas. What will be especially interesting in Kielce this season is to see how Bombac will fit in Talant Duyshebaev’s conception as a play maker. Their cooperation with Zorman is well known to us from the golden times of the legendary Ciudad Real. How the second Slovenian playmaker will fit in the team is something we should soon see.
Vardar and Rhein-Neckar Lowen: the favorites in shadow
The two teams that can seriously oppose Kielce’s leadership in group B are certainly Vardar and Rhein Neckar Lowen. As internet betting sites in Germany note, last year, Vardar terribly defeated Kielce in their Jane Sandanski arena with 10 goals difference, proving once again their absolute domination on home ground. For this season they have important new incorporations: one of which Ivan Cupic from the team of Kielce as well as Joan Canellas from THW Kiel and the young Montenegrin sharpshooter Vuko Borozan. With this class of squad seems that there is no other aim for Vardar than the Final Four in Cologne.
Unlike Vardar, who is dominant in their domestic league and only “trains” in the SEHA, Rhein-Neckar Lowen has to important battles to win this season: defend the title in HBL and place themselves to the Final Four. Jakobson strengthen the squat of the current German champion with two wings: one that have already defended the colors of the lions, Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson, coming back from FC Barcelona and the other one Dejan Manaskov, replacing Uwe Gensheimer and coming from Macedonian Vardar Skopje. With the base of the team remaining the same, we will certainly witness another successful year for the lions from Mannheim.
The rest of Group B
In difference to group A where there are five teams with absolutely plausible pretensions for the top of the group, in group B the differences between the top three teams and the rest seem to be considerable. Online sportsbooks in Poland note that Zagreb, Pick Szeged, Celje, Kristianstad and Meshkov Brest certainly belong to the Champions League class but it is difficult to see them among the teams attending the Final Four. The teams of Zagreb and Pick Szeged seems to have the experience needed and all the knowledge possible from the bench for reaching the knock out phase, but apart from that everything else, including a pass to the quarter final would be a real miracle. The biggest struggle between these times would be for passing to the top 16.