Preview: PSG Handball - Elverum
Paris Saint-Germain Handball return to Velux EHF Champions League action at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin on Saturday afternoon. In Round 13, they play host to Elverum in what is a decisive fixture for both teams.
Elverum fighting to qualify...
With two rounds remaining, the task may seem complicated for the Norwegians, who have to travel to Paris and then Aalborg looking to make up the three-point gap between them and sixth place - which would qualify them for the next round. The Norwegians can no longer afford any slip-ups, having already lost ten times (with one draw and one win). Although Elverum, who have never made it past the group stage in their first five appearances in the upper groups, have their fate in their own hands, they can take solace in the fact that Celje (currently sixth) may not have a much easier time of it: the Slovenians will host Barcelona before travelling to Flensburg.
… while Paris battle for second place!
For their part, Les Rouge et Bleu can still take second place in Group A. They gave it up last week, with defeat at Szeged (32-29), but when the Hungarians lost at Flensburg in midweek (34-26), the opportunity to re-take it emerged. Thanks to their five-goal first-leg victory over Szeged (30-25), Paris have a specific goal difference advantage and a win over Elverum will be enough to bring them level on points with Szeged and thus slide back into second. In the final match, our team will play host to bottom-placed Zagreb, while Szeged will travel to Catalonia to take on leaders Barcelona. As a reminder, second place confers certain advantages for a possible quarter-final, such as playing the all-important return leg at home).
🔥 HEIMSIEG!— SG Fle-Ha (@SGFleHa) February 19, 2020
Sieg in der @ehfcl gegen den ungarischen Meister @pickhandball!! 🇭🇺 Nach anfänglichen Schwierigkeiten konnten wir in der 2. Hälfte die Kontrolle übernehmen und halten!💪💙❤#MoinMoinEurope🇭🇺#SGPower💙❤#OhneGrenzen#SGFMOL 34:26
📸 Benjamin Nolte pic.twitter.com/WbWgWlrSj2
A look back at the first match
While the two sides are almost at opposite ends of the table, Elverum are not an easy team to handle. Despite their defeats, they have proved their mettle in the first leg against Szeged (25-26), away to Zagreb (30-27) and in the first leg against Paris Saint-Germain Handball. Raul Gonzalez's men, who had struggled to kill off them match, finally turned the game in their favour, relying in particular on an excellent performance from Rodrigo Corrales and Adama Keita's 8 from 10 (22-25). The match was played at Lillehammer's Hakons Hall in front of 12,500 spectators - a record for an indoor sport in Norway.
Although second from bottom in the group, Elverum have a solid attack and have scored 312 goals since the start of the competition, more than Celje (304), who are ahead of them in the overall standings. Icelandic right-winger Sigvaldi Gudjonsson, his club's top scorer with 55 goals, has been a major contributor to that figure. He scored ten times for the Slovenians in Round 5. However, it's in defence that things aren't going so well. With 358 goals conceded, the Norwegians have one of the worst defensive records in the competition. Paris also have no problems in attack (376 goals scored, the second-best attacking record in the group before Round 13), thanks in part to Sander Sagosen's 47 goals and Mikkel Hansen's 45.
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To follow the game (kick-off at 5:15 pm)
- Television: beIN SPORTS Max 6
- At Pierre de Coubertin Stadium: sold out
- Live tweet: our official page