Courtesy: LEN Media
Three crucial match-ups highlight Day 4 in the Champions League. Super Cup winner Ferencvaros (HUN) clashes with group-leader Barceloneta (ESP) while fellow Hungarian side Eger will face Brescia (ITA) in a game which might become decisive later when the line is drawn for the Final Eight in Group A. In the other group the two teams standing with three wins, Jug (CRO) and Busto BPM (ITA), shall have a great showdown.
The big games in Group A will take place in Hungary on Day 4. Four of the top five ranked sides are set to clash in Eger and in Budapest, the outcome of these two matches might have a ‘long-lasting’ effect on the hunt for the F8 berths. Eger takes on Brescia, both teams earned two wins and had one loss – the Hungarians pulled two out of two at home and are ready to maintain this run.
Ferencvaros, the freshly crowned European Super Cup winner (they downed title-holder Olympiacos in a thrilling shootout on Friday), faces group leader Barceloneta. The Spaniards had three relatively easy wins so far while Ferencvaros suffered its very first loss in the entire season in Recco, though two of their key players missing in the previous round are back for this encounter.
After a disastrous start – three losses in a row –, Dynamo (RUS) plays a must-win game against Crvena Zvezda (SRB) which is also yet to earn a point. Recco is eying a fourth win, it’s not the game where Steaua (ROU) can hope for its first points this season. This encounter will take place in Bologna as part of Recco’s promotion tour which seems to be a successful initiative since the local is pool is already sold out so an electrifying atmosphere awaits the players.
Action already kicks off on Tuesday in Group B as Jadran (CRO) meets Final Eight host Hannover (GER). Both teams stand without a win so far, though the Germans already got two draws and lost their third match by a single goal against BPM at home despite leading by four in the second period.
The clash of the day here is due in Dubrovnik where the top two ranked clubs will have a showdown. Both Jug and BPM claimed three wins, while it was a kind of expected run from the Croats (winners in 2016, runners-up in 2017), newcomer Busto stunned both title-holder Olympiacos and 2017 champion Szolnok (HUN), then came from behind to win in Hannover – another upset would definitely strengthen their chance to make the finals.
At the same time Szolnok needs some urgent recovery after narrow defeats in Busto and Dubrovnik. The reshaped Magyar side visits Berlin where they suffered a surprising defeat last autumn (then as title-holders) and this journey won’t be any easier despite the fact the Spandau has struggled recently. The Germans lost all three matches in the prelims and Hannover also caught them in the national league last weekend so the Berliners are yet to enjoy some success in a big game in the current season.
Olympiacos already showed the way for Szolnok as they managed to recover in style by beating Spandau at home after an embarrassing start (loss in Busto, draw in Hannover). The Greeks played a fine game against Ferencvaros in the Super Cup final, this next challenge against Mladost (CRO) seems to be an easier one. Even though Croats arrive to Piraeus undefeated but this is going to be their first tougher test in the Champions League.
Champions League, Day 4
17.30 ZF-Eger (HUN) v AN Brescia (ITA)
19.00 FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN) v Atletic Barceloneta (ESP)
19.15 Dynamo Moscow (RUS) v Crvena Zvezda (SRB)
20.30 Pro Recco (ITA) v Steaua Bucharest B. A. (ROU)
1. Barceloneta 9, 2. Recco 9, 3. Ferencvaros 6, 4. Brescia 6, 5. Eger 6, 6. Dynamo 0, 7. Steaua 0, 8. Zvezda 0
20.30 Jadran Split (CRO) v Waspo 98 Hannover (GER)
19.00 Jug Dubrovnik (CRO) v Busto BPM Sport Management (ITA)
19.00 Spandau 04 Berlin (GER) v Szolnoki Dozsa (HUN)
20.00 Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) v HAVK Mladost Zagreb (CRO)
1. Jug 9, 2. Busto BPM 9, 3. Mladost 7, 4. Olympiacos 4, 5. Szolnok 3, 6. Hannover 2, 7. Jadran 0, 8. Spandau 0.
For free live streaming of each game, live scoring, stats and play-by-play action visit www.len.eu or download the Champions League App!