Preview: Chartres - PSG Handball
After their victory away to Zagreb in the Velux EHF Champions League (29-37), Paris Saint-Germain Handball return to Lidl StarLigue action on Wednesday with a trip to promoted Chartres for their Round 3 clash.
Last season, Chartres dominated the Proligue championship by a considerable margin. First in the overall standings at the end of the regular season, seven points ahead of runners-up Créteil, Chartres confirmed their dominance at the Final4 in Saint-Brieuc. Already assured of promotion to Lidl StarLigue, they went on to clinch the title with wins over Massy (26-25) and then Créteil the following day (33-32). A fine performance that came as no surprise after Youssef Benali and his team-mates had topped the league with 822 goals scored on the way to 24 wins, two draws and just two defeats.
Paris versus Sergy
Wednesday's match at the Halle Jean Cochet will see Les Rouge et Bleu take on several former Parisians. Among them is the Ukrainian international, Sergy Onufriyenko. Chartres' top scorer last season with 162 goals, the 34-year-old right-back competed in Paris Saint-Germain Handball's first ever Velux EHF Champions League Final4 back in the 2015-2016 season. After sustaining an adductor injury in the summer, Onufriyenko is yet to make his league bow this season. The other familiar face Zacharia N'Diaye, now captain of Chartes, who won two French league titles with our team (in 2013 and 2015).
A look back at recent matches
In Lidl StarLigue, the two teams have faced off twice, during the 2015-2016 campaign, with two win for Paris. First in Chartres (20-32), where Daniel Narcisse's team had Mikkel Hansen's eight goals and Fahrudin Melic's 6 from 6 - not to mention Thierry Omeyer's 17 saves - to thank for the result. A few months later, at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin (33-25), the scenario was much the same, with Mikki once again taking the top scorer status (eight goals), Igor Vori scoring from all seven of his shots and Titi making 13 saves. That same season, Paris and Chartres also competed in the quarter-finals of the Coupe de France (Paris won 35-24).
Our key stats
After two rounds, Raul Gonzalez's men look to be firing on all cylinders. Atop the table thanks to consecutive wins and a strong goal difference (+13), their attack has been on point to say the least (67 goals). Mikkel Hansen sits atop the Lidl StarLigue scorers chart with 14 goals, alongside Fahrudin Melic, Ferran Sole Sala and Raphaël Caucheteux. Meanwhile, Chartres lost at home to Aix (25-29) on the opening day of the season but then won away to Créteil in Round 2 (26-27). Their summer signings have adapted particularly well, with Romanian Dan-Emil Racotea (signed from Plock) currently the club's top scorer with ten goals. He is followed by, Mortem Vium, formerly of Ivry, and his nine goals.
To follow the match (throw-off at 20:30 CET)
- Television: beIN SPORTS Max 4
- Live tweet: our official page
(Credits: J. Azouze/PSG)