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2018 Champions L. 2018 LEN Events News Water Polo

Champions League, Main Round, Day 13 – Preview

Last questions might be answered 

Five sides are already aboard, three more spots are to be booked, the penultimate round might decide the faith of each – or none.

The biggest excitements are foreseen in Group A where three teams are running for the remaining two spots. 2016 champion Jug (CRO) has an easy task even if they have to play in Belgrade but the Croats should win against the bottom-ranked Serbians. At the same time Brescia (ITA), already trailing by two points to Jug and Dynamo (RUS), faces a tough away game in Barcelona. The Spaniards lost to the Italians on Day 2, since then they have been enjoying an unbeaten run, won their last seven matches and with some luck they can even have a shot on the top spot in the last round. However, Olympiacos can deny them to eye the first place, with a win in Moscow the Greeks would surely stay atop. Here Dynamo is also in desperate need for the points, since the Russians visit Jug in the last round and Brescia will have a home match against Hannover, so a positive result for Dynamo against Olympiacos is a must this Saturday.

Here is the three teams’ schedule for this and the last rounds:

Dynamo: Olympiacos (h), Jug (a)

Jug: Partizan (a), Dynamo (h)

Brescia: Barceloneta (a), Hannover (h)

In Group B, the three big guys are already through, Recco’s (ITA) encounter with Eger (HUN) is going to be a great water polo spectacle as both sides are on the winning track. Eger managed to stun title-holder Szolnok (HUN) two more times in the Hungarian league showing that the team is on the rise in the whole spring.

Here Jadran (MNE) has a slim chance to catch Spandau (GER): the Montenegrins play a must-win match with bottom-ranked Alphen (NED) then will wait for the outcome of the Sunday encounter featuring Sabadell (ESP) and Spandau (GER). If Spandau wins – they are the favourites –, it’s all decided. If not, a life-or-death game looms for them against Jadran on Day 14.

Champions League, Day 13

Group A

12.00 Atletic Barceloneta (ESP) v AN Brescia (ITA)

18.30 Partizan Belgrade (SRB) v Jug Croatia Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO)

19.15 Dynamo Moscow (RUS) v Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE)

Monday

19.30 Waspo 98 Hannover (GER) v A Hid-OSC Budapest (HUN)

Standings

  1. Olympiacos 31, 2. Barceloneta 27, 3. Dynamo 22, 4. Jug 22, 5. Brescia 20, 6. Hannover 9, 7. OSC 7, 8. Partizan 0

Group B

18.15 Steaua Bucharest (ROU) v Szolnoki Dozsa-Kozgep (HUN)

19.00 Jadran Carine Herceg Novi (MNE) v AZC Alphen (NED)

20.30 Pro Recco (ITA) v ZF-Eger (HUN)

Sunday

12.00 Astralpool Sabadell (ESP) v Wasserfreunde Spandau 04 (GER)

Standings

1. Recco 33, 2. Eger 28, 4. Szolnok 24, 3. Spandau 21, 5. Jadran 16, 6. Steaua 12, 7. Sabadell 9, 8. Alphen 0

 

QUOTES

Group A

12.00 Atletic Barceloneta (ESP) v AN Brescia (ITA)

Last 5 CHL matches (Win, Draw, Loss)

Barceloneta: WWWWW

Brescia: WDLWL

Last match

Barceloneta: OSC 8-6 (away)

Brescia: Olympiacos 6-13 (away)

Face-to-face, Day 2

Brescia v Barceloneta 6-5

Chus Martin, head coach, Barceloneta (ESP)

“After achieving the qualification in the last match, now it’s time to prepare the team for the end of the season and enjoy the last two matches but especially this one that we have against Brescia in front of our fans. It will not be an easy match because they need to earn points to reach the Final 8 but we will try to make a good game to get the victory.”

Alessandro Bovo, head coach, Brescia:

“Saturday’s game will be a very hard challenge: we’re going to face a team in great conditions. After their loss in Brescia, the Catalans didn’t lose any more and got eight wins and two draws. With no doubt, an amazing growth. However, for us, achieving a good result is fundamental and we’ll give our 110 per cent to gain points.”

18.30 Partizan Belgrade (SRB) v Jug Croatia Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO)

Last 5 CHL matches

Partizan: LLLLL

Jug: WWWLW

Last match

Partizan: Dynamo 4-16 (away)

Jug: Hannover 14-9 (home)

Face-to-face, Day 2

Jug v Partizan 16-5

Stefan Ciric, head coach, Partizan:

“Jug is the favourite, of course. The upcoming encounter is a “must-win” match for the Croats because they need all three points to keep a chance to reach the Final Eight. They are coming to Belgrade with a lot of motives. But we have our goals, too. We will try to do our best. In a few matches this season we proved that we could play against strong teams.”

Vjekoslav Kobescak, head coach, Jug:

“Nothing but victory in this game is acceptable for us. I hope we will continue with our good performances and to secure place for Final 8 tournament.”

Xavi Garcia, player, Jug:

“We are the favourites in this match but we must give 100%, especially in the Banjica swimming pool where is always hard to play. Three points are our objective and only victory in this match would keep us in the battle for Final 8 tournament.”

19.15 Dynamo Moscow (RUS) v Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE)

Last 5 CHL matches

Dynamo: DDLWW

Olympiacos: LWWWW

Last match

Dynamo: Partizan 16-4 (home)

Olympiacos: Brescia 13-6 (home)

Face-to-face, Day 2

Olympiacos v Dynamo 17-9

Marat Zakirov, head coach, Dynamo:

“We returned to the race of making the Final 8 and we will do our best to conquer our place in the final.”

Ivan Koptsev, player, Dynamo:

“The mood inside our team is good and positive, we are ready for this battle to reach the final and we will try to play as good as we can.”

Theodoros Vlachos, head coach, Olympiacos:

“Yet another great game away from home. We are called to face Dynamo Moscow by playing a ‘final’ against them! Victory is for both teams one way. If we win another big game that will reassure our dynamics and quality as a team. We are 40 days before the Final Eight, in the final straight! From now, until the end we have to be serious and determined!”

Konstantinos Genidounias, player, Olympiacos:

“It will be a very hard and difficult game against Dynamo! They want the three points in order to be in the qualification zone. From the other hand, we also do need the victory, in order to stay in the first place of the group and not to go into adventures in the last game. We have to be very concentrated in this game to get the three valuable points and to secure the first place in our group.”

Monday

19.30 Waspo 98 Hannover (GER) v A Hid-OSC Budapest (HUN)

Last 5 CHL matches

Hannover: LLWLL

OSC: DLLLL

Last match

Hannover: Jug 9-14 (away)

OSC: Barceloneta 6-8 (home)

Face-to-face, Day 2

OSC v Hannover 8-7

Karsten Seehafer, head coach, Hannover:

“OSC Budapest, I remember very well. We were in control of the game the whole time, except for the last minutes. In the last second we lost. We are striving to change this and do our best in the last game at home in this Champions League season.”

Tobias Preuss, player, Hannover:

“We are well prepared for the Champions League, German Cup and German Finals coming next weeks. Champions League games are not easy, they are special. And above this we still have a score to settle with OSC.”

Darko Brguljan, player, Hannover:

“For us, this game offers a chance to finish the season in our pool with a victory. We cannot change anything with regards to the table: we are out for Genoa … We need to play tough from the first minutes to boost our chance to play motivated and take a good result. Waking up in the last quarter while losing is not the object of our game.”

Robert Kovacs, assistant coach, OSC:

“As we already lost the chance to play in the Final Eight and also in the Hungarian championship final, we would like to use this game as a preparing for the bronze medal game in our league. Long time ago we haven’t won a game in the Champions League so we would like to change this and rebuild our self-confidence as this is what could be a great boost for us for the next games. This is why we must play a full concentrated game against a strong Hannover team.”

Group B

18.15 Steaua Bucharest (ROU) v Szolnoki Dozsa-Kozgep (HUN)

Last 5 CHL matches

Steaua: WLWLW

Szolnok: LWWLW

Last match

Steaua: Recco 6-13 (home)

Szolnok: Spandau 9-8 (home)

Face-to-face, Day 2

Szolnok v Steaua 15-3

Alexandru Ghiban, player, Steaua:

“We will play against the reigning champion, so for us this game will be very difficult. At the same time we have to see where we are, after the first year in the most important competition for clubs. We are arriving at almost the end of the season so we will do our best to play at the level of our opponent!”

Dorde Filipovic, player, Steaua:

“The upcoming match against Szolnok will be our last match in front of our spectators in the Champions League this season and I would like to see crowded stands in our pool. We’ll clash with the current champion of Europe and one of the biggest candidates to win the trophy once again. Regarding that, I promise in front of my teammates that we ‘ll try to give our best in this moment with desire to come up with the best possible performance against a strong and great opponent.”

Sandor Cseh, head coach, Szolnok:

“Our first task is to forget our bad luck on Wednesday, when we lost against Eger. In the second round, on home soil we won easily against Steaua, which we cannot take as a ground for this game, as this will be a new game, moreover it will be away. As the Romanian team performs better and stronger on home grounds, we have to be well prepared. To sum it up, we have to put a lot into our game in order to win.”

Zivko Gocic, player, Szolnok:

“I think it was not a realistic outcome when we defeated the Rumanian team 15-3. Since then Steaua has proved that they are a much stronger team than what they have showed us, especially on home grounds. Therefore we will have to play hard, with concentration and discipline. We are facing a range of hard tasks, our aim is to perform well in Bucharest.”

19.00 Jadran Carine Herceg Novi (MNE) v AZC Alphen (NED)

Last 5 CHL matches

Jadran: LLLWL

Alphen: LLLLL

Last matches

Jadran: Eger 4-8 (away)

Alphen: Sabadell 14-16 (home)

Face-to-face, Day 2

Alphen v Jadran 7-14

Vladimir Gojkovic, head coach, Jadran:

“It’s our last Champions League game at home this season. We are favourites, but the game will not be so easy. They had a great game against Sabadell last week.”

Marko Petkovic, captain, Jadran:

“We are the better team in this game but we also have to have maximum focus because in Champions League there are no easy matches. We will give our best in this last game at home.”

Nemanja Stevanovic, head coach, Alphen:

“We are preparing ourselves for the play-offs in Dutch League which will start next week. The game against Jadran is therefore a perfect moment to show our quality and get ready for those play-offs. It’s obvious that the Champions League is a very good experience for all players, mainly the young ones, but we have to see that we have come short on quality to compete on this level. We need to bring that experience to the play-offs and focus on winning the Dutch League.”

Milos Filipovic, player, Alphen:

“Jadran is a very strong and fast team and we are looking forward to compete against them. Our main focus is winning the Dutch League but we have a full focus on Jadran first because the Champions League is an amazing experience!”

20.30 Pro Recco (ITA) v ZF-Eger (HUN)

Last 5 CHL matches

Recco: WWWWW

Eger: WWWWW

Last matches

Recco: Steaua 13-6 (away)

Eger: Jadran 8-4 (home)

Face-to-face, Day 2

Eger v Recco 4-6

Niccolo Gitto, player, Pro Recco:

“Eger is the surprise of the tournament, whoever will face them in the quarterfinals will face a team which is really dangerous. For us it will be a very important game to assess our improvement process.”

Gonzalo Echenique, player, Pro Recco:

“It will be a difficult match, we know the value of Eger and we know that they will come to Genoa to win. Tomorrow it will be a good test for the Final Eight, we will have to play 100% despite the training sessions in this period are particularly strenuous.”

Norbert Dabrowski, head coach, ZF-Eger:

“If I remember correctly, we never beat Recco. We would like to change this situation, and this is a good motivation for the team. The victory is not so important for the teams now, but against one of the best sides we have to play strong. I’m sure, neither of the teams approach this game light-minded.”

Daniel Angyal, player, ZF-Eger:

“Everybody knows how difficult task is to play against Recco. A victory against them would be great for our self-confidence. Our goal is the win against the best team of the field.”

Balint Lorincz, player, ZF-Eger:

“Our schedule is very busy. We are in the Final Eight, but we are not going for a holiday to Genova. We would like to win, because we have big plans in the Champions League and also in the Hungarian Championship.”

Sunday

12.00 Astralpool Sabadell (ESP) v Wasserfreunde Spandau 04 (GER)

Last 5 CHL matches

Sabadell: WLLLW

Spandau: LWLWL

Last match

Sabadell: Alphen 16-14 (away)

Spandau: Szolnok 8-9 (away)

Face-to-face, Day 2

Spandau v Sabadell 11-8

Chava Gomez, head coach, Sabadell:

”We want to make a good match as a farewell to the Champions League at home. We are preparing the play-off of the league and this match will go very well to be able to gain strength for the next game. We want to do well in front of our fans.”

Javier Gorria, player, Sabadell:

”The game against Spandau is a good opportunity to try to get a good result against a team that presumably can be in the Final Eight. To achieve this we have to produce a very good match and have a lot of success in attack. It’s going to be a good farewell party at home.”

Peter Kovacevic, head coach, Spandau:

“We have the big opportunity to make the decisive step to the Final Eight. However, Sabadell has proved its strength by beating Jadran. And even our first game against Sabadell in Berlin was tighter than the result might show. So we have to be very careful and play on our best level otherwise we won’t have a chance to be successful. If we are able to play on the same level as in Szolnok we might be able to grab at least one point.”

Peter Rohle, team manager, Spandau:

“Sabadell has a very good team. They are able to play very fast water polo on a high level. We have to be more concentrated and determined than in our last games in the German league. We have the big chance to pick the reward for a good Champions League season.”

Mateo Cuk, player, Spandau:

“By entering the Final Eight we can write on the biggest success story for Spandau in recent years. The team is highly motivated. We are looking forward to a close game, but we have shown some very good performances this season. I’m confident the team will play its best water polo. If we do so, we do have a chance to win in Sabadell.”