After a two-month pause, the season of the European competitions for male clubs will be resumed tomorrow.
The games of the first leg of the LEN Euro Cup eighth-finals will be played all across the continent on Saturday.
The first leg of the LEN Euro League quarterfinals will also be held this week.
The LEN Euro Cup round of 16 comes six days after the end of the Olympic Games Qualification Tournament. Just a few of the 16 eighth-finalists didn’t have their players at the 8-day tournament in Rotterdam – Szolnok and OSC (both Hungary), Barcelona, Mediterrani Sabadell (Spain), and Crvena Zvezda (Serbia).
The round of 16 brings several interesting encounters, but according to the predictions, the derby is Barcelona – Mladost. Both clubs have played very well on the European stage so far and in the domestic competitions. Still, Mladost is a favorite, but the Croatian club didn’t have enough time to prepare for tomorrow’s game in Barcelona. Seven Mladost’s players were in Rotterdam until Sunday – five in the Croatian national team, Cosmin Radu was Romania’s captain. Konstantin Kharkov played for Russia and was the best scorer of the tournament.
There will be two national derbies in the eighth-finals. Sabadell is the favorite against Mediterrani in the clash of two Spanish clubs. It is hard to predict the outcome of the encounter between the Russian clubs Sintez and Dynamo.
Three countries – Spain, France, and Serbia – will have three clubs apiece in the round of 16.
The Serbs and the French will meet in two encounters. Tourcoing Lille will host Crvena Zvezda, the winner of the Serbian Cup, while Radnicki Kragujevac will face Strasbourg. These encounters will probably be very exciting. There are no real favorites, just like in the match between Novi Beograd (Serbia) and Vouliagmeni (Greece), which are the leaders of their national leagues.
Hungary has two clubs in this round – Szolnok, and OSC. The two dominated their groups in the qualification round and they are considered serious contenders for the trophy in the LEN Euro Cup. OSC will have a harder task than Szolnok in the eighth-finals. The Budapest-based side will play against Pays d’Aix, which is growing a year after year. Pays d’Aix played with Szolnok, the leader of the Hungarian League, in the Champions League qualifications and suffered a narrow loss (9:11). Szolnok is the favorite in the clash with Primorac Kotor, but the young team of the Montenegrin club, won’t surrender easily.
Matches Barcelona – Mladost and Primorac – Szolnok are the encounters between the former European champions. Besides these four, two clubs in the round of 16 have won the Champions League – OSC Budapest and Crvena Zvezda.
Four of the eighth-finalists have won the LEN Euro Cup (LEN Trophy earlier): Barcelona (1995 and 2003). Mladost (2001), Sintez (2007) and Radnicki (2013).
Radnicki (SRB)– Strasbourg (FRA) at 19:30
Pays d’Aix (FRA) – OSC Budapest (HUN) at 18:00
Tourcoing (FRA) – Crvena Zvezda (SRB) at 20:00
Primorac (MNE) – Szolnok (HUN) at 18:00
Sabadell (ESP) – Mediterrani (ESP) at 13:45
Novi Beograd (SRB) – Vouliagmeni (GRE) at 18:00
Sintez Kazan (RUS) – Dynamo Moscow (RUS) at 18:00
Barcelona (ESP) – Mladost Zagreb (CRO) at 16:45
The second leg is on March 6
The Euro League for women also goes one.
One match of the quarterfinals has already been played. SIS Roma and Dunaujvaros shared the points.
The 1st leg will be completed tomorrow, with the remaining three games. The highlight of this round is the encounter between Sabadell and Olympiacos, the finalists of the 2019 Euro League. The title-holder Sabadell will be the host in 1st leg.
Sabadell (ESP) – Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) at 11:45
Kinef-Surgutneftegas (RUS) – Dynamo Uralochka (RUS) at 15:00
Mataro Goufone (ESP) – UVSE Hunguest Hotel (HUN) at 19.00
SIS Roma-Dunaujvaros 11:11 (4:3, 2:3, 4:3, 1:2)
Roma: Galardi 2, Avegni 2, Di Claudio 2, Storai 2, Giustini , Picozzi , Nardini 1
Dunaujvaros: D. Szillagyi 6, Ziegler 2, Gurisatti 1, B.Horvath 1, Garda 1.
The second leg is on March 13.