Five things on Montpellier - PSG Handball

Between the two legs of their EHF Champions League quarter-final against Kiel, Paris Saint-Germain Handball shift focus... to the Coupe de France final! On Saturday evening, they will try to add a new trophy to the club's trophy cabinet when they take on nearest league rivals Montpellier at the Palais des Sports Robert Oubron in Créteil,.

1 - Titles: Head-to-head
This match will give one of the two teams the opportunity to add a little more to their legacy in this competition. For the moment, Montpellier dominate, since they have won 13 Coupes de France (including seven in a row between 1999 and 2006) and twice been runners-up. As for the capital club, this is the ninth time they have reached the final, with four wins (2007, 2014, 2015 and 2018) and four defeats in the past (2001, 2008, 2013 and 2016). This match will be a reprise of the 2015-2016 edition, which the MHB won at the AccorHotel Arena (38-32). In that match, Paris's main tormentors now play for Les Rouge et Bleu: Mathieu Grébille, who fired an 8 from 11, and Vincent Gérard, who made ten saves.

2 - League leaders vs nearest rivals
This final should live up to all its promise, since both teams are having a great season. On the European scene, Patrice Canayer's side had a great run in the EHF European League before losing in the quarterfinals to Fuchse Berlin. Raul Gonzalez's team, after their defeat in the quarter-final first leg of the EHF Champions League in Kiel (29-31), still have their destiny in their hands and will punch their ticket for the Final4 with a positive result against the Germans at Coubertin next Wednesday. In the Lidl StarLigue, Montpellier and Paris are neck and neck - in second place (with 43 points taken from 25 games) and top spot (with 23 victories on its 24 days) respectively.

3 - League clashes
At the end of December, Les Rouge et Bleu traveled to Montpellier to face their nearest league rivals. The game remained open for a long time - the two teams were still neck and neck at the approach of money-time (44' : 27-27). But in the end, our players - well led by the 8 out of 10 of Ferran Solé Sala - stepped on the gas and broke clear top clinch a precious win (32-36). In mid-April, in the return leg, the Parisians once again prevailed, dominating from start to finish (31-28). Historically, in the Coupe de France, the head-to-head record favours Montpellier five to one. In 2014, Paris managed to win in Montpellier in the round of 16 (27-28), despite the 21 saves of Thierry Omeyer and seven goals from Mathieu. That day, the capital club had Robert Gunnarsson to thank for a five-goal haul.

4 - Internationals à gogo
Créteil has been the home of the French national team for some time now. But if this match were to take place in an arena other than the House of Handball, it is likely that the numerous France players on either team would feel perfectly at home. During the last French camp, which saw Les Bleus punch their ticket for Euro 2022, there were six Parisians (Yann Genty, Vincent Gérard, Nedim Remili, Benoît Kounkoud, Dylan Nahi and Elohim Prandi) and three from Montpellier (Hugo Descat, Valentin Porte and Kevin Bonnefoi). To this list, we can also add our captain and former Montpellier man Luka Karabatic, who will play in the final but who missed the last meeting, or Montpellier right-winger Yanis Lenne, who has 16 caps. But we will also find representatives of other nations, such as Denmark, Portugal, Argentina, Sweden, the Netherlands, Latvia and Spain! This Coupe de France final will have a decidedly international flavour!

5 - To follow the match (kick-off at 21:00):
- Television: La Chaîne L'Equipe
- Live tweet: our official page

(Credits: TeamPics/PSG)