20210926 Metz Vipers Depaula
EHF Champions League

Four unbeaten sides aim to extend their streaks

Adrian Costeiu / Sergey Nikolaev

Two Hungarian teams, FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria and Györi Audi ETO KC, France’s Metz Handball and German champions BV Borussia 09 Dortmund are the only four unbeaten sides after the first three rounds of the DELO EHF Champions League 2021/22 — and they will try to preserve the status quo this weekend.

The two Hungarian sides have the toughest challenge, with FTC hosting Team Esbjerg in the Match of the Week, while Györ are traveling to another Danish opponent, Odense Håndbold.

Elsewhere, BV Borussia 09 Dortmund may set a new team record in terms of unbeaten consecutive matches if they stay clear against CSM Bucuresti, as Rostov-Don also look to pounce against Buducnost BEMAX — one of just two sides to fail to win a game in the first three rounds.

MOTW: FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria (HUN) vs Team Esbjerg (DEN)
Saturday 16 October, 16:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • FTC are one of the last four unbeaten teams in the Champions League and, across all competitions, are on a four-game winning streak on their home court in Erd
  • the Hungarian side can equal their best-ever start in the competition — three wins and a draw, recorded in the 2016/17 season
  • Esbjerg won only three of their last 14 away games in the past three seasons, with their last away victory coming in the group phase of last year’s season — 28:24 against FTC in January 2021
  • if FTC beat Esbjerg, they will be only one win shy of the 100-victory milestone in the DELO EHF Champions League, hit only by five teams — Györ, Buducnost, RK Krim Mercator, Hypo and Larvik HK
  • the sides have met four times in the past 20 months in the premium European competition, winning two games each

Brest Bretagne Handball (FRA) vs HC Podravka Vegeta (CRO)
Saturday 16 October, 18:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • after two consecutive losses, against FTC and CSM Bucuresti, Podravka dropped to seventh place in the standings but are equal on points with Brest in sixth
  • Brest have posted their worst start in the DELO EHF Champions League since the 2017/18 season, when they lost all six games in the group phase
  • the 21st goal scored by Brest will be their 1,500th in the premium European competition. The French side will become the 22nd team in history to reach this milestone
  • if Podravka lose, they will concede their 93rd loss in the competition. Only RK Krim Mercator (132) and Buducnost (106) have more
  • the French side are on a 37-game unbeaten streak — with 34 wins and three draws — in all competitions on their home court, with the last loss coming against Nice in the French League in May 2019

Buducnost BEMAX (MNE) vs Rostov-Don (RUS)
Sunday 17 October, 16:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • if they lose on Sunday, Buducnost will tie their worst-ever losing run in the premium European competition: seven games on the trot. Buducnost’s last win came against FTC in March 2021
  • Buducnost’s last four-loss start in the DELO EHF Champions League group phase was in the 2006/07 season, when they posted a six-game losing streak and were eliminated
  • leading the standings after two rounds, Rostov were relegated to fourth after their first loss, but still have the third most effective defence in the competition, averaging 23.6 conceded goals per game
  • Buducnost are still only one win shy of their 150th in the competition. Only Györ (179) won more games than the Montenegrin side
  • the sides met only twice in the DELO EHF Champions League, with Rostov securing both wins in the 2018/19 season

BV Borussia 09 Dortmund (GER) vs CSM Bucuresti (ROU)
Sunday 17 October, 16:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Dortmund can set their best-ever unbeaten run in the DELO EHF Champions League if they do not lose the game, after tying their previous record of three matches with the win against Brest
  • the German side boasts the top goal scorer of the competition, centre back Alina Grijseels, with 29 goals, while CSM’s top scorer is left back Cristina Neagu, with 18
  • in six matches played at home against Romanian opposition, Dortmund won five and conceded only one loss, against SCM Craiova, in qualification round 3 of the Women’s EHF Cup 2018/19
  • CSM are the tallest team in the competition, with an average height of 178 cm, while Dortmund have the lowest height average, at 172.6 cm tall
  • both sides won their latest matches in their domestic leagues: Dortmund took a 27:20 win against Halle-Neustadt, while CSM enjoyed a 31:20 victory against newly-promoted CSM Cetate Deva

Vipers Kristiansand (NOR) vs Kastamonu Belediyesi GSK (TUR)
Saturday 16 October, 18:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • defending champions Vipers have lost two of their three matches so far — both away from home, at Györ and Metz
  • the Norwegian side claimed their only win in round 2 in the home match against Sävehof
  • debutants Kastamonu, who sit bottom of the group, are yet to claim their maiden points in the continental top flight
  • Vipers’ veteran Heidi Loke announced she is pregnant last week. The 38-year-old is planning to resume her career after giving birth to her third child
  • it will be the first meeting of the two sides in European club competitions

CSKA (RUS) vs IK Sävehof (SWE)
Sunday 17 October, 14:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • CSKA are fifth-placed in the group with two points after two matches and a game in hand
  • after a surprising win against Krim in in the opening round, Sävehof suffered two straight defeats in Nordic derbies against Vipers and Odense
  • Sävehof's left back Jamina Roberts takes second position in the competition’s scoring chart, with 25 goals — four behind Alina Grijseels from Dortmund
  • CSKA’s left back Polina Vedekhina had surgery on her heel in Spain last week. It is not clear when she will return to the court
  • the rivals have never met each other in European club competitions

Odense Håndbold (DEN) vs Györi Audi ETO KC (HUN)
Sunday 17 October, 16:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Györ are the only team in the competition to have recorded three wins in as many games, which sees them in the top position in group B
  • the Hungarian side also boast the most efficient attack in the tournament, having scored 98 goals in three games (32.7 per game on average)
  • third-placed Odense suffered their only defeat in the group on the home court — 27:21 against Metz in round 2
  • Odense’s Dutch right back Dione Housheer is third-placed on the scorers’ list, with 23 goals in three encounters
  • Györ won three of four previous mutual encounters with Odense, and one more game — notably, last season in the group stage in Denmark — ended in a 32:32 draw

Krim Mercator Ljubljana (SLO) vs Metz Handball (FRA)
Sunday 17 October, 16:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • following two defeats at the start, Krim earned their first victory in round 3, narrowly winning at Kastamonu, 24:23
  • Metz are second-placed in the group with a perfect record of two wins in as many matches and a game in hand
  • Krim hold an advantage in head-to-head encounters with Metz, winning nine of their 14 meetings, while the French team claimed victories in the five remaining games
  • last season Metz defeated their Slovenian rivals twice in the group — 33:27 at home and 26:22 away
  • Krim’s Slovenian centre back Tjasa Stanko played last season at Metz, while her French teammate Alisson Pineau had a spell there early in her career, between 2009 and 2012

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