The first round offered 4 absolutely amazing matches: two of them still keep us in uncertainty
GamingZion succeed in spotting the possible surprises in the exiting 1/8 final matches of the EHF Champions League for men. The first quarter final duels brought, however, new excitement. The teams that most probably secured their places on the Final Four in Cologne this year seems to be Vardar Skopje and the “saints” from Paris.
• Vardar and Paris almost secured for Cologne
• Barcelona and Kiel to offer another thriller in Palau Blaugrana?
• Can Montpellier make it to the EHF Final Four?
Vardar, one of the main favorites for the European crown this year, succeeded a victory in the FlensArena over Flensburg. However, the match in the “Jane Sandanski” arena in Skopje, will certainly not be just a formality for them. In that same arena, as online sportsbooks in Germany note, three years ago Flensburg eliminated them from reaching the EHF Final Four in Cologne. Yet, these are some new times in which the the excellent shape of the team of Raul Gonzalez seems to be a guarantee for a win on home ground too.
Paris had also made a huge step towards their second Final Four in history with the win over Pick Szeged. The win is Szeged was more than expected, although the best defense in the EHF Champions League did have something to say to. The return match in Paris, however, is probably going to be only a verification of the visa of PSG to Cologne.
Barcelona – THW Kiel
The absolute derby of the return 1 /4 final matches in the EHF Champions League would without any doubt be the meeting in the Palau Blaugrana between Barcelona and Kiel. The two teams met in the last year quarterfinal too, when the “zebras” eliminated the Catalans from their participation on the EHF Final Four. However, Kiel’s last week home victory over Barcelona brought only two goals difference. Two goals that can easily evaporate in the magical Palau, report online sportsbooks in the EU.
This year everyone was expecting a harder season for Barcelona, having in mind their rejuvenation of the team. Yet, Barca showed to be much stronger character overcoming successfully all the obstacles. They managed to win the first place in the group phase – and it was a “hell” of a group! – and they showed an excellent performance in the Sparkassen arena this time, losing the match by a only two goals. THW Kiel on the other side, without their captain Domagoj Duvnjak, showed a great performance too. However, as the bookmakers odds signal, the chances this time are not really on their side.
Montpellier – Veszprem
Veszprem had a harder than expected victory against the Montpellier. The French team proved in the 1/8 final to be “shooting high” this year with the elimination of Kielce, the actual EHF champion. In the Veszprem Arena they showed a solid defense and very well organized attack in the first 20 minutes, maintaining a draw game with the hosts. In the 53 minute the difference in favor of Veszprem reached its maximum of 6 goals, 24-18.
And when everybody thought that the hosts broke the match Montpellier returned. Using some of the mistakes of the hosts they lowered the difference on three goals 26-23, announcing a “living hell” on the return match in the Arena Montpellier. Bet on sport in France fans can definitely try their forecasting skills on this one as the match is covered in complete uncertainly.For all the others, five days are left until all “mysteries” about this year’s EHF Final Four participants in Cologne are revealed.