Preview: PSG Handball - Nantes
On Saturday evening, Paris Saint-Germain Handball take on Nantes in a high-octane Velux EHF Champions League Round 4 clash.
A win to get back on track
Beaten in the final last season, The H haven't had the start they would have wished for in the current campaign. Beaten at home by Flensburg in Round 1 (31-34), they failed to make up the points dropped when they travelled to Szeged a week later (30-28). Thus their Round 3 clash with Skjern - a reprise of last season's quarter-final - was a must-win, and Thierry Anti's men stepped up with a big 35-27 victory. David Balaguer stood out with 7 from 9, while Nicolas Claire chimed in with five to top the list of the club's European scorers with a total of 13 so far this season. As they head to Coubertin, Nantes sit fifth on the table with two points.
Flawless in the league
However, in the Lidl StarLigue, Cyril Dumoulin and his teammates are firing in all cylinders, topping the table after five wins from as many matches (only Chambéry have been able to keep pace). They notably claimed the scalp of European champions Montpellier in a thrilling match at their Palais des Sports de Beaulieu (31-28). In mid-week, they disposed of Tremblay (28-32) to maintain top spot. In terms of statistics, they sit fourth on the attacking table (147 goals scored) and boast the second-best defence (121 goals conceded).
Round two already
Nantes and Paris have met so many times over recent seasons that they now know each other incredibly well. Their last fixture dates back just a month to the third-place play-off in the Trophée des Champions in Montbéliard. After a see-sawing match and an equally unpredictable penalty shoot-out, it was The H who came out on top (45-46). Nantes' Valero Rivera stood out particularly with a 12-goal haul, while Nedim Remili top scored for Paris with nine strikes.
Our key stats
Les Rouge et Bleu are in top form in the Champions League. With 100 goal, they are among the competition's most prolific attacking sides. But the key stat is that, with just 71 goals conceded, Paris Saint-Germain Handball boast the tightest defence in the higher groups (third-best in all four groups). This stat comes thank in no small part to 'keeper Rodrigo Corrales, who has racked up 34 saves in the last two matches (17 against Celje, 17 against Zagreb). In terms of scoring, Nedim is leading the way with 18 goals, followed by Sander Sagosen and Luka Karabatic (who shot 8 form 8 in Croatia), who each have 12.
To follow the match (throw-off at 17:30)
- At the Stade Pierre de Coubertin: get your tickets on our official website
- Television: beIN SPORTS 1
- Live tweet: our official page
(Credits: J. Azouze/PSG)