Preview: Aix - PSG Handball
On Wednesday night, it's time for the Lidl StarLigue! With 14 wins from 14 matches, leaders Paris Saint-Germain Handball travel to Aix for their Round 15 clash, which is already shaping up as a classic between two of France's European representatives.
On the eve of the 15th round of the Lidl StarLigue, Aix sit in sixth place with 16 points. But PAUC's ranking could be much better if they hadn't been so inconsistent this season. Despite two draws in the first five games, they remained unbeaten until Round 7's derby loss to Saint-Raphaël (25-27). However, the defeat did not prevent them from being among the leading teams. Since then, although the Provençal side have enjoyed two consecutive wins, their results have been uneven and have left them four points off the podium. But, as they proved in Nantes, where they lost narrowly in the final moments (25-24), they are capable of beating anyone on their day.
Paris meet up with Sami
Beaten narrowly last weekend by Füchse Berlin in the EHF Cup (23-25), Jerome Fernandez (to be replaced by Thierry Anti from 2021, as the club announced last week) had gotten his side off to a great - and unbeaten start to 2020 before that. Indeed, they had won successive matches against Nimes in the Coupe de France (28-26) and away to Istres in the league (21-25). Good results in which newcomer Samuel Honrubia played a key role. After retiring at the end of last season, which he spent playing for Tremblay, the former Parisian (crowned French Champion three times with Les Rouge et Bleu) has returned to action this winter. Since his arrival, the 33-year-old left-winger has already racked up 11 goals in all competitions (including a six-goal haul against Istres).
A look back at the first match
At the beginning of November, the two teams faced off at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin. After a balanced start (19': 11-10), the capital club gradually broke away on the scoreboard, going ten minutes without conceding a goal. Rodrigo Corrales was more than up to the task, saving 17 of the 38 shots fired his way that day (44%). Offensively, Sander Sagosen scored six goals and Luka Karabatic five. Historically, Paris have led the way with 13 wins to just two defeats. In the South of France, our team has six wins and one defeat, the last of which dates back to 22 November 2017.
Wednesday's duel will pit a team that attacks very well (Paris) against one that defends solidly (Aix). Les Rouge et Bleu have the best attacking line in the Lidl StarLigue, with 491 goals scored in 14 games (66 more than the second attack, Nantes, with 425). Our Danish left-back, Mikkel Hansen, is one of the great architects of this fine statistic with 76 goals. He is fourth in the top scorers' chart despite having played just nine games. PAUC, meanwhile, have conceded just 374 goals, making them the second-most solid rear-guard. With 149 saves, French international Wesley Pardin is one of the goalkeepers with the most saves in the league (second only to Rémi Desbonnet at 157).
La course au maintien va être terrible dans cette 2eme partie de saison...et que dire de la bataille pour les places européennes 😍😋💪— Lidl Starligue (@LidlStarligue) February 6, 2020
❌ Le classement en détails ➡️ https://t.co/FD6whE2dkW pic.twitter.com/vK0Mmj54sD
To follow the game (kick-off at 20:45)
- Television: beIN SPORTS 1
- Live tweet: our official page