Jug v Olympiacos: the re-match of the 2016 final
A couple of crucial match-ups highlight Day 7 and will do Day 8 since these two rounds see virtual home-and-away battles of the same teams. In Group A the next two games of Ferencvaros (HUN) and Brescia (ITA) might be decisive for the top ranks just as the big clash of the round between 2016 champions Jug (CRO) and title-holder Olympiacos (GRE) in Group B.
The Tuesday game of Ferencvaros and Brescia and its rematch in two-week time can easily secure one of the sides’ Final Eight berth provided any of the two can gain back-to-back wins. The other two top teams of the group Recco (ITA) and Barceloneta (ESP) face easier matches, though the Italians’ tour to Moscow seems to a bit more challenging. In the meantime Eger is set to grab its last chance to reserve some hope for the spring with a possible double win against Crvena Zvezda (SRB).
In the other group the re-match of the 2016 final between Jug and Olympiacos is the absolute highlight of this round. So far, Jug enjoyed a great run while the Greeks had to gear up after a disastrous start – if the Croats could add another win that would pave their road to finish atop though in the second phase of the prelims they should play away matches in Piraeus, Szolnok and Busto.
BPM Busto (ITA) can further cement its second place as they meet Jadran which is seemingly the third-ranked side among the Croats though should never be underestimated.
The most heated battle is expected in Szolnok where the 2017 champions and the upcoming Croatian team Mladost will face off in a kind of live-or-die duel. With only the top three teams qualifying from this group – Hannover (GER) has an automatic berth as host of the F8 –, these two games can decide the faith of these two teams. Szolnok, not winning a single match since the opening round, can only catch up with the top three with two wins – and the same applies to Mladost.
The all-German clash of Spandau and Hannover is more about the prestige – though F8 Hannover is seeking its first win after encouraging draws against the best teams of the group.
PRELIMINARY ROUND – DAY 7 – 22-23 January 2019
SEASON 2018 – 2019
Game : FTC WATERPOLO KFT. BUDAPEST (HUN) vs AN BRESCIA (ITA) – 18h30 GMT+1 – 22nd January 2019
Game : Dynamo MOSCOW (RUS) vs Pro RECCO (ITA) – 19h15 GMT+3 – 23rd January 2019
Game : CNA BARCELONETA (ESP) vs Steaua BUCHAREST (ROU) – 19h15 GMT+1 – 23rd January 2019
Game: VK Crvena Zvezda (SRB) vs ZF EGER (HUN) – 20h30 GMT+1 – 23rd January 2019
Game : Spandau04 BERLIN (GER) vs Waspo98 HANNOVER (GER) – 19h00 GMT+1 – 23rd January 2019
Game : SZOLNOKI Dozsa (HUN) vs HAVK Mladost ZAGREB (CRO) – 19h00 GMT+1 – 23rd January 2019
Game : SM BUSTO ARSIZIO (ITA) vs VK JADRAN SPLIT (CRO) – 20h30 GMT+1 – 23rd January 2019
Game : Jug DUBROVNIK (CRO) vs Olympiacos SF PIRAEUS (GRE) – 20h30 GMT+1 – 23rd January 2019