Preview: PSG Handball – Cesson

After their Velux EHF Champions League win over Veszprém (33-28), Paris Saint-Germain Handball return to domestic action on Wednesday night, taking on Cesson-Rennes at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin in the Lidl StarLigue's Round 9.

In need of a win

The Brittany side haven't got off to the best of starts this season, but it wouldn't take much to turn it into an excellent first half of the season. The tone was set in Round 1, when they lost a tense and hard-fought encounter with Saran (29-30). Since then, they have had two more defeats in very similar circumstances: once at the Palais des Sports de la Valette, against Nîmes (23-24), and then away to Dunkerque (22-21), when Baptiste Butto scored on the buzzer after Cesson had dominated most of the match. These strokes of poor fortune have left the club in the drop zone with zero wins to their name so far in the campaign.

Struggling up front

Their poor results could well be ascribed to their struggles in front of goal: since the beginning of the league season, only Arber Qerimi has been able to shine in this domain. With 39 goals, the Belgian international in the club's top Lidl StarLigue scorer, but only figures in eighth place on the league's scoring chart. In total, his side have scored 203 goals in eight matches, leaving them in second-last place on the attacking table. For the moment, only bottom club Massy have fared worse in this respect.

Jeff Lettens standing guard

Luckily for Sylvain Hochet and his teammates, things are going much better in defence. They sit in the middle of the defensive table, with 221 goals conceded - a more miserly total than Nantes or Toulouse. Their tightness at the back is due in no small part to their 'keeper, Jeff Lettens, who is also a Belgian international under the guidance of Yérime Sylla with both club and country. Often called into action, the 26-year-old 'keeper already has three appearances in the Lidl StarLigue's Top Saves this season. He sits in seventh place on the saves chart with no fewer than 70 stops and looks set to better his performance from last season, when he stopped 130 shots in 26 matches.

Our key stats

In terms of stats, Paris Saint-Germain Handball are doing extremely well. Despite conceding a defeat at the hands of Nîmes last week (26-24), a result that saw them leapfrogged into top spot by Montpellier, the Rouge et Bleu have some impressive numbers. Boasting the league's top attack with 248 goals, they also the second-tightest defence (198 goals conceded). In individual terms, Uwe Gensheimer tops the Lidl StarLigue scoring chart with 53 goals.

To follow the match (throw-off at 20:45)

To check out the Lidl StarLigue table, click here!

(Credits: PSG)