Paris get started with a derby!

On Wednesday night at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin, Paris Saint-Germain Handball begin their 2017-2018 Lidl StarLigue campaign. The Rouge et Bleu get started with a derby, playing host to Ivry, who represent a promising mix of youth and experience.

A strong campaign to build on
After having to battle for survival two years ago, Ivry started off the 2016-2017 campaign much more serenely. Indeed, the Paris-region side locked down a place in mid-table, six points clear of the drop. On the way, they claimed some prestigious wins, beating Montpellier at the Gymnase Auguste Delaune and trumping Aix-en-Provence away. This season, they will be looking to push on, having done well in the transfer market over the summer.

Paris get started with a derby!

Top-notch recruitment
Rastko Stefanovic's squad didn't have any high-profile departures in the off-season, but the squad was effectively reinforced. First up, there was the arrival of Cuban international Yosdany Rios (28-year-old left-back), who had been playing for Deott Halmastad in Sweden. Ivry will also be able to count on Youssef Ben Ali, a 2015 World Championships silver-medal winner with Qatar, signed from Tunis. Last but not least, Tunisian right-back Oussama Hosni (24 years old) has also arrived to bolster the squad.

Key players
These new faces join an already quality squad that features last season's club top scorer Morten Vium Troelsen, the Dane who scored 152 goals last season. There are also young talents the likes of Mahamadou Keita, Walid Badi, Benjamin Bataille, Léo Martinez and Cesar Castro as well as the more experienced François-Xavier Chapon and Mathieu Bataille. The squad is unquestionably at full strength!

Coupe de la Ligue defeat
However, USI did not start their season in the best of manners. Faced with a Proligue side this week in the first round of the Coupe de la Ligue, they found themselves eliminated. They were knocked out by Nice, who had just punched their ticket to join the ranks of French professional handball. After a red-hot start (4': 0-4), the visitors saw their opponents get back into the game go six points clear early in the second half (44’ : 20-14). Despite a 5 from 5 in open play from Troelsen (8 from 9 in total), Ivry couldn't bridge the gap (27-25).

To follow the match (throw-off at 19:30)