Preview: PSG Handball - Saran

After returning to action in the Coupe de France and the Velux EHF Champions League, Paris Saint-Germain Handball resume Lidl StarLigue duties on Wednesday afternoon, taking on Saran in their Round 14 clash at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin.

Fighting for survival
Saran secured their survival on the last day of last season, and this time around they are still to ensure their top-flight status. The fight to beat the drop will be hard-fought, but the team from the Loire valley have staked a claim and currently sit in 11th place on six points. However, the two bottom sides in line for relegation, Tremblay and Massy, on five and four points respectively, are not far behind. To save their skins, Fabien Courtial's men will need to pull off some shock results - something they have already managed, scoring 41 goals as they ran out comfortable winners over Chambéry just before the winter break (41-33).

Clinical up front
Scoring goals is no problem for Saran. They have the third-best front-line in our league, with 380 goals in 13 matches, and one of their players in particular is enjoying scoring goals immensely: Matthieu Drouhin, who has been at it for ten years, since his time with Villefranche-sur-Saône. These days, the Lidl StarLigue's fourth-highest scorer of all time (1229 goals) has struck on 66 occasions - a tally that only Balaguer, Caucheteux, Ilic and Gensheimer (76) have bettered.

A 'keeper with resources
It's in defence where Saran have proven deficient of late, as their owning the league's leakiest back-line - 413 goals shipped - can attest. In each of their matches, their 'keepers have been beaten at least 25 times. However, Miroslav Kocic is doing his utmost to contain the damage. With a 127 saves this season, he is the league's fourth-most effective guardian, appearing in no fewer than three times among the Top Saves in 2017-2018.

A look back at the first match
In October, Saran and Paris Saint-Germain Handball clashed at Palais des Sports  in Orléans, a yellow-clad Rouge et Bleu side dominating and leading by 14 goals at one point in the second half (48’: 17-31). The home side's fight-back at the death did nothing to prevent Zvonimir Serdarusic's men from claiming another two points (28-36) in a win that owed plenty to Luc Abalo's 8 from 8.

To follow the match (throw-off at 19:00)

Check out the full Lidl StarLigue standings here!

 (Credits: TeamPics/PSG)