Champions League Main Round Preview: Clashes At The Top

Courtesy: LEN

The top sides will face off each other in the second ‘bubble’ tournaments, staged again in Ostia (ITA) and in Budapest (HUN). This time four rounds shall be played in as many days and the respective winners of the recent editions are ready to offer the very best of water polo.

Recco, champion in 2015, will have a busy start as the top ranked Italian side is to clash with 2018 winner Olympiacos on Monday, then takes on 2016 gold medallist Jug on Tuesday in Group A. Also this day will see the grand battle of 2014 champion Barceloneta and title-holder Ferencvaros in Group B – another mouth-watering encounter.

While these five teams, plus Brescia in Group B, are expected to claim the top ranks – and all of them fulfilled those expectations in the first three rounds in December –, the battle for the remaining spots are wide open so the games of the lower ranked sides also promise some big excitements.

Almost each team faces a challenging situation: many players just returned from the exhausting Olympic Qualification Tournament in Rotterdam where they had to play eight matches in eight days. While this granted them a lot of playing routine – a treasure for some during the lockdown period – it also burnt a lot of their reserves which might be a factor next week when they will have four hard games in as many days.

As usual, LEN will offer free live streaming with on-site commentary and interviews with the coaches at the end of each game, plus the live-scoring page is to feature play-by-play description and detailed statistics.

Champions League, Round 4-7

Group A (Ostia)
Round 4 (1 Mar): 15.15 Spandau 04 Berlin (GER) v CN Marseille (FRA), 17.45 Jug Adriatic Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO) v CC Ortigia (ITA), 20.15 Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) v Pro Recco (ITA)
Round 5 (2 Mar): 15.15 Spandau v Ortigia, 17.45 Marseille v Olympiacos, 20.15 Recco v Jug
Round 6 (3 Mar): 15.15 Marseille v Recco, 17.45 Jug v Spandau, 20.15 Ortigia v Olympiacos
Round 7 (4 Mar): 15.15 Marseille v Jug, 17.45 Olympiacos v Spandau, 20.15 Recco v Ortigia

Standings:

1. Recco 9, 2. Jug 9, 3. Olympiacos 6, 4. Ortigia 3, 5. Marseille 0, 6. Spandau 0

Group B (Budapest)
Round 4 (2 Mar): 14.00 FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN) v Zodiac CN Atletic Barcelona (ESP), 16.30 Waspo 98 Hannover (GER) v Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO), 19.00 Jadran Herceg Novi (MNE) v AN Brescia (ITA)
Round 5 (3 Mar): 14.00 Brescia v Hannover, 16.30 Dinamo v FTC, 19.00 Jadran v Barceloneta
Round 6 (4 Mar): 14.00 Brescia v Dinamo, 16.30 Barceloneta v Hannover, 19.00 FTC v Jadran
Round 7 (5 Mar): 14.00 Dinamo v Barceloneta, 16.30: Brescia v FTC, 19.00 Hannover v Jadran

Standings:

1. Barceloneta 9, 2. Brescia 6, 3. Ferencvaros 6, 4. Jadran 3, 5. Dinamo 3, 6. Hannover 0

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