Preview: PSG Handball - Aix
After three consecutive Velux EHF Champions League matches and a week-long international break, Paris Saint-Germain Handball return to the Lidl StarLigue. On Saturday, they play host to Aix-en-Provence in their rescheduled Round 8 clash at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin.
Big matches are coming thick and fast for Les Rouge et Bleu! After a Champions League win away to Flensburg on Wednesday evening (29-30), they now face a strong team from the French championship. With seven wins from as many Lidl StarLigue matches this season, Raul Gonzalez's men dominate the standings. But Aix are not far behind. Thanks to their very good start to the season, which has seen them lose only once, for two draws and four wins, PAUC are in the top 5, with a game in hand on most of their competitors. Among their good results stands a memorable victory over Chambéry (29-28).
Unstoppable vs Immovable
We should see an interesting meeting between two teams who boast league-topping sectors. Before the start of Round 8, Paris had the most prolific attack of the French handball elite, with 230 units. Since the mid-week matches, Nantes (248) and Toulouse (235) have been ahead, but Paris will only need to score 19 goals in this delayed fixture in order to go back on top. On the other hand, the Provençals' defence is absolutely top notch. No team has so far managed to score more than 29 goals against them this season and, with only 177 goals conceded, they are clear leaders on the defensive table (Dunkirk are second with 203).
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A look back at recent matches
Historically, this confrontation has been to the capital club's advantage, with 12 wins and just to defeats. At the Stade Pierre de Coubertin, our team have won six times and lost once. However, they haven't fallen to Aix for three matches, their last defeat coming with a poor performance at the Arena in the Pays d'Aix in November 2017 (33-31). Since then, Les Rouge et Bleu have carved out a run of three consecutive wins! Notable among them was the occasion on which Paris clinched the 2018-2019 Lidl StarLigue title with a victory in the south of France on 9 May (20-29). Earlier in the season, on their home turf, they had Mikkel Hansen's ten goals (including his 900th Lidl StarLigue goal) to thank for the two points (31-27).
After the collective statistics, it is interesting to look at the individual numbers for this huge clash. Defensively, we could be watching a game in the game between Wesley Pardin and Vincent Gérard. The two goalkeepers are among the league's top eight, with 65 and 61 saves respectively. In contrast to the field, the top scorers from Aix and Paris are not far from each other, with just eight goals separating them. Nedim Remili (38), is ahead of the former Parisian Nicolas Claire (30). Finally, it should be noted that a win for Paris Saint-Germain Handball would be a league record 30th in home victory in a row.
Classement provisoire de la #J08 avant un magnifique rdv à Coubertin samedi soir entre💥Paris et Aix💥— Lidl Starligue (@LidlStarligue) November 7, 2019
Nîmes fait la belle opération face à un prétendant direct aux places en haut du classement👍
Pour en savoir plus👉https://t.co/FD6whE2dkW pic.twitter.com/dHRBJ9oAEF