Five things on PSG Handball - Dunkirk
On Saturday afternoon, Paris Saint-Germain Handball will play their last Lidl Starligue match at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin for 2020, playing host to Dunkerque in their Round 14 fixture.
Last stop before Cologne
Les Rouge et Bleu will thus draw a line under their league activities for 2020 - a year that has been more than positive with a record of 16 wins and one draw (29-29 in Nantes, on 27 February) - unbeaten! The Lidl Starligue leaders, who have won two massive clashes away to Nantes (24-26) and Montpellier (32-36) this week, will do all they can no to miss this last step and maintain a comfortable lead in the ranking. A win would also be the best possible preparation for the Velux EHF Champions League Final4 in Cologne. On 28 December, Raul Gonzalez's men will face Barcelona (in the other semi-final, Veszprém will challenge Kiel).
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For their part, the Northerners have been the victims of a lack of consistency. In 11 matches (from a possible 13), they have won four, drawn one and lost six. However, the USDK have achieved some big results, notably beating Toulouse on the road (27-31) and getting the better of Limoges, who now occupy second place (32-28). However, they have been unable to back these results up, and fell to a defeat last week in Chartres (27-23). A problem of consistency that has prevented them from staying in the top half of the table (ninth with nine points), but Dunkerque are only four points behind fifth-placed Nantes.
Saturday's clash will be an opposition of styles! The Parisians still Lidl StarLigue's best attack, with 430 goals scored in 12 games (35.83 per game). It is therefore not surprising to find Nedim Remili (61 goals) and Mikkel Hansen (56) in the Top 10 on the scorers chart. However, it is at the other end of the court that the Dunkerque players are most effective. They have the second-best ratio of goals conceded per game played (on average 25.73 per game). 'Keeper Samir Bellahcene has had a very good year and has made 76 saves since the beginning of the season (124 for Vincent Gérard).
Head to head
This is the thirtieth time that these two sides have met in the Lidl StarLigue. The balance sheet favours Paris Saint-Germain Handball (19 wins, one draw, nine defeats). Almost a year ago to the day, when the sides last met, Les Rouge et Bleu won their tenth consecutive match against Dunkerque (36-25, 18 December, 2019). You have to go back to 6 November 2014 for the capital club's last defeat to Dunkerque, who had been crowned Champions of France a few months earlier. At the time, Vincent was playing for the northern club and turned in a very good performance, pushing back 14 Parisian attempts. Nevertheless Mikky shone as brightly as ever, with 13 goals, but could not prevent defeat for his team (27-26).
To follow the game (kick-off at 17:30):
- Television: beIN SPORTS 3
- At the Stade Pierre de Coubertin: Closed
- Live tweet: our official page