Preview: Cesson – PSG Handball

On Wednesday night, Paris Saint-Germain Handball travel to the Palais des Sports de la Valette to take on Cesson-Rennes. The Rouge et Bleu have a chance to strike a blow in this Lidl StarLigue Round 21 clash.

Back on track
After a rocky start to the season, Cesson-Rennes have righted the ship and in recent weeks have been faring much better. While the Brittany club have a match in hand (to be played on 25 April in Chambéry), they currently sit six points above the drop zone. That they have this breathing space is due to three wins in their last four outings, and thus they are in an excellent position to maintain their top-flight status for next season.

Problems up front
Cesson took a long time to get things going this season (their first win came in Round 12's trip to Aix), a fact that was largely due to their struggles in scoring goals. In 19 matches, they have scored just 491 goals, making them the league's 12th-most dangerous front line. And in individual terms, you have to scan all the way down to number 36 on the Lidl StarLigue scorers chart to find the first Cesson-Rennes players: Sylvain Hochet and Allan Villeminot, each on 61 goals.

*A look back at the first match
*
In November, the two sides faced off at Coubertin in the Lidl StarLigue's Round 9.  The visitors put on a good show but struggled to beat an imperious Rodrigo Corrales. The Spain international notched 21 saves and helped his side take a commanding lead. Up front, Mikkel Hansen (7 goals) and Nikola Karabatic (6) took charge of blowing out the scoreline (32-25).

What's at stake for Paris
In case of a win on Wednesday night, Paris Saint-Germain Handball take provisional top spot in the Lidl StarLigue. Current leaders Montpellier won't play their home game against Nîmes until Sunday, given that they have a Velux EHF Champions League quarter-final against Flensburg on Wednesday night. The Rouge et Bleu would climb to 35 points, the same as Montpellier, but would take the lead thanks to head-to-head goal difference (+4 for Paris).

To follow the match (throw-off at 20:50)

 (Credits: PSG)