Preview: Elverum - PSG Handball
On Saturday afternoon, Paris Saint-Germain Handball are going to Norway, where they will face Elverum Handball in Velux EHF Champions League Matchday 3 action. Although in difficulty at the start of the group phase, the hosts could be galvanised by their supporters.
A rough start...
The Norwegians didn't get their European campaign off to the best of starts. In their first game, they were no match at home to neighbours Aalborg. After staying at level pegging for 15 minutes (9-9), they lost control of the Danish attacks and ended up conceding a heavy defeat (24-34). A few days later, they faced another tough task when they travelled to Flensburg. With only 39% of attacks converted into goals, the Scandinavians left Germany empty-handed. However, they have a better goal difference (-17) than the other two zero-point teams (Zagreb and Celje) and currently sit in sixth place in Group A.
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... against an excellent one!
For their part, it's all systems go for Les Rouge et Bleu. After winning their opening match in Zagreb (29-37), they played host to another received another European heavyweight last week: Szeged. The Hungarians, who beat Barcelona on Matchday 1(31-28), handed Raul Gonzalez's men a stiff test. But Nikola Karabatic's masterful performance, with eight goals, tipped the balance in favour of Paris (30-25). So our team have two wins from two games and are matched only by Aalborg and Flensburg in the group.
60’ : C’est terminé ! Auteurs d’une très belle partie, les Rouge et Bleu débutent de manière idéale leur campagne d’@ehfcl ! Plus d’infos à venir sur notre site officiel ! #ZAGPSG pic.twitter.com/IZpRZ35ykO— PSG Handball (@psghand) September 14, 2019
In terms of statistics, the two teams' journeys in the competition are also diametrically opposed. While the capital club have the fourth-best attack of the upper groups heading into Matchday 3, with 67 goals, the locals have had plenty of problems finding the net. Despite some strong performances from Iceland right-winger Sigvaldi Bjorn Gudjonsson, who has scored 12 goals in two games, the team have the competition's weakest offensive output with 43 goals. Paris top scorer in Europe this season is Nikola Karabatic (11), but special attention will be paid to Kim Ekdahl du Rietz, who is only five goals shy of hitting his 200th Champions League goal.
A record in sight
This clash could set a new record! The match will take place in Lillehammer's Hakons Hall, which was built to host the 1994 Olympic Winter Games. The stadium has the capacity to accommodate up to 11,500 spectators, making it the largest venue in the country. A first for an indoor sports event in this country. This high-profile clash would therefore do better than the 11,200 people who came to see their country win, ahead of France, in the 1999 Women's World Cup final. Usually, Elverum Handball plays at the Terningen Arena, which has a capacity of 2,500 seats.
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To follow the match (kick-off at 17:30)
- Television: beIN SPORTS 3
- Live tweet: our official page
(Credits: J. Azouze/PSG)