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Champions League: THW Kiel with first match point for the quarter-finals

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Champions League: THW Kiel with first match point for the quarter-finals

As of: February 28, 2024 12:00 a.m

As second place or even as group winner straight into the quarter-finals – these are the tempting options for THW Kiel in the Champions League. The German handball record champion has it in his hands. Today at 6:45 p.m. the “Zebras” will be playing at Pick Szeged in Hungary.

In the Group A table, Kiel leads with 18 points ahead of Aalborg Handbold (16) and Paris Saint-Germain (15). With a point in Szeged the quarter-finals would be booked. Should the THW win and Aalborg make a mistake in Bitola, the relay victory would even be perfect on the penultimate matchday of the preliminary round. Otherwise, this decision will be postponed because the Danish club has won the direct comparison with the North Germans.

Either way, things are looking very good for the direct route to the quarter-finals: Kiel would have to lose both games and Paris win both for THW to fail. Because it is not enough for the French champions to just catch up with the Schleswig-Holsteiners due to the lost direct comparison. He has to move past them.

Reinkind: “Everything has to fit for us in Szeged”

But the THW doesn’t want to deal with such arithmetic games at all. The German record champions want to continue the series of five games without defeat. However, it is going into areas where the “Zebras” often have difficulty: out of seven attempts in southeastern Europe, only two were successful. “We are doing everything we can to improve our balance sheet,” said THW left-hander Harald Reinkind. “But everything has to be right for us. Szeged is extremely strong at home and has a lot of team and individual class.”

At the weekend, the Hungarian runner-up in the domestic league defeated outsiders Fejer Veszprém 42:28. “I asked my players to go at a faster pace with Kiel in mind,” explained Pick head coach Krisztian Karpati afterwards.

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THW in Szeged will probably be without goalkeeper Mrkva again

His team is currently fifth in the Champions League. Although it has a four-point cushion over seventh-place Kolstad, it could theoretically still be eliminated. This would happen if there were defeats against Kiel and then in Paris, if the Norwegian opponent won the last two preliminary round games and at the same time the sixth-placed HC Zagreb should score at least once.

The Kiel team will probably still have to do without Tomas Mrkva (concussion) in Szeged. Most recently, Samir Bellahcene was the only professional goalkeeper in the squad. Like last Sunday against ThSV Eisenach, Magnus Bierfreund would again be available as a replacement.

This topic in the program:
NDR 2 Sport | 02/28/2024 | 11:03 p.m

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