After the penultimate, 13th round of the Champions League, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, we will maybe know the final standings in Group B.
It’s almost certain that only the question of 2nd place will remain open in Group A after Saturday’s games.
There are several options regarding the standings in Group B. Marseille started coming back in the race for the Final Eight berths, and the French may make the finish of the Preliminary Stage very interesting.
The crucial matches of this week will be played in Budapest and Marseille tomorrow. The battle for the top spot and 4th place in Group B may end after these games or become more complicated.
2022/23 Champions League Day 13, Preview
Group B (Friday, May 11)
Two games will be played in the city of water polo, Budapest, tomorrow. OSC Budapest will welcome Novi Beograd. Thirty minutes after the first whistle in this match, the encounter Ferencvaros – Brescia will start.
Marseille will host Jug. Spandau 04 will play against Sabadell in Berlin.
Brescia, Novi Beograd and Ferencvaros booked their F8 tickets. OSC Budapest and Sabadell can’t reach 4th place. The remaining teams are still in the race for the last Final Eight berth in this group. Jug is five points ahead of Spandau and six ahead of Marseille, but its 4th place is still in danger.
Marseille shocked Ferencvaros with a convincing 13:7 win on Day 12 and revived its hopes of qualifying for the F8 for the third time in a row alive. However, it still has to pass two high hurdles. Only a six-goal victory over Jug will keep the French in the race. The Croats beat Marseille in Dubrovnik 14:9 and have a significantly better goal difference than the French.
Marseille’s advantage is the fact that they secured the 40th title of the national champion ten days ago. Jug goes to France after four very exhausting matches against Jadran in the final of the Croatian playoffs. The fifth decisive match is on Wednesday. On the other side, Jug defeated Jadran convincingly two days ago (13:6) and that win gives the Dubrovnik-based side a new dose of self-confidence. The Croats will probably secure 4th place with a draw in Marseille.
Since the current format is introduced, Marseille and Jug have played each other seven times in the Champions League. Jug emerged as a winner four times.. Marseille beat the Dubrovnik-based side thrice but has never defeated Jug in Marseille. The French recorded wins in “the bubble” in Ostia in the post-Covid 2020/21 season (15:13) and twice last season (14:9 in Dubrovnik and 15:13 in the 7th-place match at the F8 in Belgrade)
The two teams have faced off just once in Marseille. It was 13 months ago, Jug recorded a narrow 13:12 win.
Even If Marseille defeats Jug by six goals or more, there will still be many ifs. On Day 14, Marseille will play against OSC in Budapest. Jug will have a more demanding task, as it will face Brescia in Italy. Undoubtedly, the French will have an easier task on the last matchday. Still, it seems that Marseille is on the “Mission Impossible” at the moment. It will be a great feat if the French accomplishes that mission. Tomorrow, we’ll find out if the impossible can become possible.
Let’s go back to Budapest. The Hungarian teams are thinking about the final of the playoffs of the domestic league that starts on Tuesday. OSC can’t climb to 4th place. Ferencvaros can’t drop lower than 3rd place and only a series of miracles can move them higher in the standings.
Brescia needs only one point to cement 1st place. Novi Beograd is far from the top spot, but the chase for Brescia hasn’t been over yet.
These two games are more important for the visitors than the Budapest-based teams. However, it’s sure that the Hungarians won’t give the points to the Italians and the Serbs on a silver plate. Brescia beat Ferencvaros in Italy by four goals (8:4). Novi Beograd demolished OSC in Belgrade (17:9). The Hungarians are seeking revenge for these defeats. Even though the matches don’t have competitive importance for the hosts, exciting encounters are in sight.
Spandau had a chance to become a surprise team this season after beating Jug and Ferencvaros. But, they didn’t build on those victories. They lost to OSC in Berlin in the last round. Tomorrow, Spandau host Sabadell. Three points in that match won’t help the Germans much because Spandau’s last game in the Preliminary stage will be the duel with Novi Beograd in Belgrade.
OSC Budapest – Novi Beograd (19:30)
Spandau Berlin – Sabadell (19:30)
Ferencvaros – Brescia (20:00)
Marseille – Jug (20:00)
1.Brescia 12 games – 31 points ( goal difference +45)
2. Novi Beograd 12 – 26 (+35)
3. Ferencvaros 12 – 22 (+5)
4. Jug 12 – 16 (+3)
5. Spandau 12 – 11 (-32)
6. Sabadell 12 – 10 (-15)
7. Marseille 12 – 10 (-19)
8. OSC Budapest 12 – 10 (-22)
Day 14 (May 23): Novi Beograd – Spandau, Brescia – Jug, Ferencvaros – Sabadell, OSC Budapest – Marseille.
Follow the live scores on Total Waterpolo Arena
Group A (Saturday, May 12)
As for Group A, it isn’t difficult to predict the outcomes of Saturday’s duels. The top three teams, already qualified for the F8, are the favorites in the games in their pools.
Barceloneta welcomes Vouliagmeni. Pro Recco will host Jadran Split and Olympiacos will have the most straightforward task as it will face Dinamo Tbilisi.
Barceloneta needs four points to secure first place mathematically, regardless of the other results, and it will do everything to earn a win over Jadran. Pro Recco and Olympiacos are in the race for 2nd place. Pro Recco is two points ahead of Olympiacos. If both teams collect points on Saturday, their encounter in Italy on the last day will decide 2nd place.
21 The scoring record in the 2023 Preliminary stage is 21 goals. Three teams scored more than 20 goals in one game this season. Olympiacos beat Dinamo in Tbilisi 21:9. Pro Recco scored more than 20 goals twice in home matches (21:12 against Radnicki and 21:4 against Hannover). Jadran beat Dinamo 21:7 in Split.
Vouliagmeni is still in 4th place, with three points more than 5th-placed Jadran Split.Vouliagmeni can secure 4th position and its first-ever appearance in the Final Eight, even if it loses to Barceloneta.
If favorites Pro Recco and Barceloneta beat their rivals, the Greeks will keep 4th place regardless of the last round’s results. Vouliagmeni has a better score in the head-to-head encounters with Jadran.
Waspo 98 and Radnicki will face off in Hannover. The game will be a good preparation for both teams for the playoff matches in their domestic championships.
Barceloneta – Vouliagmeni (13:00)
Olympiacos – Dinamo Tbilisi (19:30 – 18:30 CET)
Waspo Hannover 98 – Radnicki (19:00)
Pro Recco – Jadran Split (20:00)
1. Barceloneta 12 games – 33 points (goal difference +55)
2. Pro Recco 12 – 30 (+82)
3. Olympiacos 12 – 28 (+53)
4. Vouliagmeni 12 – 17 (-18)
5. Jadran 12 – 14 (+4)
6. Radnicki 12 – 9 (-41)
7. Dinamo T 12 – 6 (-69)
8. Waspo 98 Hannover 12 – 3 (-66)
Day 14 (May 24): Pro Recco – Olympiacos, Vouliagmeni – Radnicki, Barceloneta – Dinamo Tbilisi, Jadran Split – Waspo Hannover
Follow the live scores on Total Waterpolo Arena