Handball Champions League: THW Kiel welcomes HBC Nantes | NDR.de – Sports

Status: 08.12.2022 08:12

Plagued by personnel problems, THW Kiel today hosts HBC Nantes in the Champions League. The 30:38 defeat in the first leg against the French caused great annoyance to the German handball record champion.

No sooner have THW Kiel established an exclamation mark with the 31:25 victory over feared opponents HSG Wetzlar and cemented second place in the Bundesliga table, than they are already looking up again. coming. Tonight (6:45 p.m.) the “Zebras” play their next home game in the Champions League. It shouldn’t be easy against HBC Nantes, as the 30:38 rebound in the first leg at the end of October caused a lot of annoyance for the Kiel team and especially coach Filip Jicha.

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After the heavy bankruptcy of 30:38 in the Champions League in Nantes, the Kiel coach was contrite, the THW handball players practiced self-criticism. After

Kiel’s rear area extremely slimmed down

The return match should be different. “With our white wall, we want to challenge our personal issues and fight hard for Nantes,” said THW captain Domagoj Duvnjak. The Croatian is currently being challenged even more than usual as Kiel’s backcourt is currently sparsely occupied. Besides right winger Sven Ehrig (torn cruciate ligament), Eric Johansson (broken pastern) and Steffen Weinhold (torn cruciate ligament). Nikola Bilyk (thigh), Karl Wallinius (knee) and Miha Zarabec (calf muscle strain) are also injured.

A week ago, the narrow defeat in Barcelona was due to the lack of personnel. “We ran out of options during the game and then at the end we ran out of dynamism from the backcourt,” said pivot Hendrik Pekeler, who himself had missed the first months of the season.

Direct jump to the quarter-finals away

The situation for the German record champions in the European premier class is mixed at best. With only six points in eight games, the first and second goals of the B season and therefore the direct jump to the quarter-finals are a long way off.

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The Handball Champions League Cup © picture-alliance / Sven Simon

Handball Champions League Group B fixtures and results. After

“We knew that the start of the season would be very difficult due to the prolonged absences of Hendrik Pekeler and Sander Sagosen”, explained Viktor Szilagyi, general manager of THW. “But we also know how much power we can accumulate when we have all the players on board again for the second half of the season.” An early exit – i.e. seventh or eighth place – doesn’t seem realistic given previous performances by the two basement kids Celje and Elverum, but something countable against Nantes would be good for THW.

Nantes with many high-level international handball players

However, the French finalist has top international players such as playmaker Aymeric Minne, circle player Jeremy Toto, Spanish left-hander Jorge Maqueda and Spanish winger with Kauldi Odriozola and Valero Rivera Folch and has up to present also could count on the throwing power of left-handers Thibaud Briet and Alexandre Cavalcanti. So far, Nantes have only lost to big favorites Barcelona and Kielce.

“My team convinces with its commitment and intensity,” said HBC coach Gregory Cojean. A real challenge for the “Zebras”, who only have to compete internationally in Aalborg before the long break until February.

Miha Zarabec of THW Kiel against FC Barcelona © IMAGO / Eibner

THE AUDIO: THW Kiel hold out for a long time in Barcelona, ​​but still lose (1 min)

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NDR 2 Sports | 08.12.2022 | 11:03 p.m.

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