Preview: PSG Handball - Zagreb
On Sunday evening, Paris Saint-Germain Handball play host to Zagreb, at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin, in Velux EHF Champions League Round 12 action. Should they win, Les Rouge et Bleu could do extremely well out of it.
Anything is possible
Three rounds form the end of the group stage, Zagreb sit in fourth with ten points. A number of different outcomes are still very real possibilities for the Croats. Although first and second place are out of reach, they can still finish in any of six different spots. Third place, currently occupied by Flensburg, is two points away. Zlatko Horvat and his teammates have a match in hand over the German side, whom they will face in Croatia at the end of February. The problem is that, looking in the other direction, qualification is still far from certain, with the drop zone just three points below them.
The context for Paris
Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain Handball still sit in top spot in Group B, with 20 points, and are thus in line to qualify directly for the Champions League quarter-finals. To secure this shortcut, they just need another three points (fro ma possible six), but it would also be possible with fewer, if Szeged fail to win any of their last three matches. A win for Raul Gonzalez's men against Zagreb, coupled with a poor performance from Szeged against Zaporozhye, would see the capital club secure their future right here in Round 12.
A look back at the first match
The first time these two sides met in the competition this season, les Rouge et Bleu were all business, especially in attack! They enjoyed one of their most clinical performances - a 70% conversion rate for their shots on goal. Luka Karabatic played a key role in this glimmering statistic, our pivot firing a razor-sharp 8 from 8. Mikkel Hansen also struck with a superb spin-shot, while Rodrigo Corrales made 17 saves at 45%. A stunning performance that saw Paris comfortably add another two points to their season tally (21-32).
Our key stats
With 20 points, our side boasts the biggest tally in the competition. They are the only team, over all the groups, to remain unbeaten while winning ten of their matches. This domination is clear from the stats: Paris Saint-Germain Handball boast a +55 goal difference, having struck 355 timers while conceding just 300 times. Only Barcelona have a more impressive record in this domain (+65). Coincidentally, 55 is also the number of goals scored by the competition's two leading scorers, who both happen to be Parisians: Nedim Remili and Mikkel Hansen.
To follow the match (Throw-off at 19:00)
• Television: beIN SPORTS 3
• Live tweet: our official page