Preview: Pontault - PSG Handball
On Wednesday evening, Paris Saint-Germain Handball play their last away game of the season, making the short trip to face neighbours Pontault-Combault in the Lidl StarLigue's Round 25.
Fates already sealed
With two matches left to play, Pontault-Combault and Paris already know what lies in their future. Les Rouge et Bleu stitched up the Lidl StarLigue title in Round 22 while the side from the Seine-et-Marne region have found themselves at the other end of the table for several months. Last Wednesday, after they were defeated away to direct relegation rivals Istres (28-27), their last hopes of avoiding finishing in bottom place and heading to the ProLigue evaporated. After 24 matches, no fewer than 39 points separate the two sides.
Avec sa victoire face à Nantes, Montpellier prend une très belle option sur la seconde place tandis que Nantes quitte le trio de tête au profit de Chambéry 😨— Lidl Starligue (@LidlStarligue) May 23, 2019
📈 Le classement en détails 👉 https://t.co/Bg6cEEMk28 pic.twitter.com/ZNMjPOzf4w
Sharpest attack meets leakiest defence
This is a clash of extremes and the statistics reflect that fact. With 787 goals cored this season Raul Gonzalez's men boast the division's top attacking record. Meanwhile, Cherif Hamani's side have conceded more goals than any other club, with the goalkeeping duo of Joao Moniz and newly minted France international Robin Cantegrel beaten 716 times. In attack, things are somewhat better, with the Paris-region side having scored 603 goals to be the league's 11th-most prolific attack.
📽️ Robin Cantegrel sera-t-il à nouveau décisif ce soir face à Ivry pour permettre à Pontault-Combault d'accéder au Final4 de la Coupe de la Ligue ? 🤔— Lidl Starligue (@LidlStarligue) December 12, 2018
En attendant, retrouvez son portrait 👉 https://t.co/Rr8uewQnM7 pic.twitter.com/tMGD5CNEgt
Steve Marie-Joseph: made in Paris
Among Pontault-Combault's top scorers, we find one who came up through the youth academy in Paris, playing four matches with the senior team in the 2012-13 campaign: Steve Marie-Joseph, currently his side's top scorer with 97 goals (16th on the Lidl StarLigue scoring chart). Despite the fact that his side cannot escape relegation, the 25-year-old left-winger will remain in France's top flight next season, having signed a two-year deal with Dunkerque. The list of players set to leave the club also includes Cantegrel (Cesson-Rennes), Rémi Leventoux (Toulouse) and Nikola Jukic (Chartres).
A look back at the first match
At the beginning of October, Pontault travelled to the Stade Pierre de Coubertin for the sides' Round 5 Lidl StarLigue clash. Despite the efforts of another former Parisian - Ludwig Appolinaire , who top-scored for his side with six goals - PCHB left the capital empty-handed (38-25). That night, they were unlucky enough to be faced with an inspired Luka Stepancic, who fired 9 from 9 (his best in three Lidl StarLigue seasons). Meanwhile, Thierry Omeyer also shone, making 16 saves at 39%.
To follow the match (Throw-off at 20:30)
• Television: Non diffusé
• Live tweet: our official page
(Credits: J. Azouze/PSG)