Courtesy: LEN Media
All eyes are on Piraeus where the title-holder Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) and the 2017 champion Szolnok (HUN) clash in a match which might turn out to be a live-or-die encounter. Since only the top three can make the Final Eight from Group B, this is an absolutely crucial encounter for these two, seeded third and fourth respectively, currently with even points. The loser might find it difficult the catch up with the others in the remaining four rounds.
In Group A the game of Recco (ITA) and Barceloneta (ESP) promises a brilliant battle, though unlike Olympiacos and Szolnok, these two sides should not worry about making the cut. Recco is in top form, just retained its Italian Cup title and ready to maintain its clean sheet in the League. At the same time, Barceloneta was badly beaten in the last round in Brescia (ITA) and another loss would threaten the Spaniards to slip back to the fourth places.
The other Friday match features an all-Hungarian clash which offers a last chance to host Eger to save some hopes to qualify. Ferencvaros looks much stronger, though, and another win might even put them on equal points with Barceloneta.
Brescia is on a tricky mission in Moscow (RUS). Though unlike last year Dynamo has already bowed out from the race to the finals, the Russians can still be a threat to anyone at home, even to Brescia which enjoys a 9-game unbeaten run in the League. In Belgrade Crvena Zvezda (SRB) also has a kind of last chance against 7th ranked Steaua (ROU) to earn its first points this season as in the last four rounds only tougher challenges await for the young Serbians.
In Group B the showdown of the champions is the absolute highlight. Olympiacos has a bit unbalanced season though the Greeks are still unbeaten at home (but won only one out of five away encounters). After a victory on Day 1 Szolnok had a five-game winless streak including a draw against the Greeks which saw a dramatic end with one goal apiece in the last 11 seconds. The Hungarians won their last three matches so they are definitely on the rise – so sheer excitements are guaranteed for Saturday afternoon.
Jug is set to go on winning against F8 host Hannover on Friday, while BPM (ITA) faces Mladost, that game also ended in a draw in Zagreb. For the Italian side the win is a must now since they face the champions of the last three editions (Jug, Szolnok, Olympiacos) on the remaining days. Jadran and Spandau have no hope left to go through so it’s a battle of prestige where the Croats looks for some revenge after their surprising loss in Berlin.
Champions League, Day 10
18.30 ZF-Eger (HUN) v FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN)
20.30 Pro Recco (ITA) v Atletic Barceloneta (ESP)
19.15 Dynamo Moscow (RUS) v AN Brescia (ITA)
20.30 Crvena Zvezda (SRB) v Steaua Bucharest BA (ROU)
1. Recco 27, 3. Brescia 20, 2. Barceloneta 19, 4. Ferencvaros 16, 5. Eger 12, 6. Dynamo 9, 7. Steaua 3, 8. Zvezda 0
20.30 Jug CO Dubrovnik (CRO) v Waspo 98 Hannover (GER)
16.00 Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) v Szolnoki Dozsa (HUN)
19.00 Jadran Split (CRO) v Spandau 04 (GER)
20.30 BPM Sport Management Busto (ITA) v Mladost Zagreb (CRO)
1. Jug 25, 2. BPM Busto 19, 3. Olympiacos 15, 4. Szolnok 15, 4. Mladost 8, 6. Spandau 7, 7. Jadran 6, 8. Hannover 6
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