The Main Phase of the Champions League enters the second half this week. A few clubs can mathematically qualify for the quarterfinal groups after the fourth round.
Pro Recco will likely secure its spot among the top 8 clubs on Wednesday, and Ferencvaros, Barceloneta and Jadran Split may join the reigning champion.
While the Champions League Main Phase is entering the second half, the first half of the Group Stage in the LEN Euro Cup is near. The matches of the third round are this week.
2024 Champions League, Day 4, Preview
From the fourth round, the teams in Groups C and D will play their matches a day before the clubs in the other two groups. So, we start the preview with the games in Group C.
Ferencvaros, which collected nine points in the first two rounds, will qualify for the quarterfinal stage if it beats Jadran Herceg Novi in Trebinje tomorrow. The Montenegrin champion caused headaches to Ferencvaros in the first match in Budapest, but the Hungarians “woke up” in time and secured the win. Getting easy points in Trebinje isn’t guaranteed for Ferencvaros, but the team has made significant progress since the start of the season. Jadran had to put in a lot of effort to produce a surprise and come out as a winner against the Hungarian team.
Crvena Zvezda plays its second home match. Jadran Split arrives in Belgrade. The “Red Whites” suffered a convincing loss to Ferencvaros in Belgrade. However, Crvena Zvezda proved it hadn’t qualified for the CHL by chance, displaying very good performances in away matches against two Jadrans. The Serbs had the last opportunity to get into the race for the quarterfinals. Undoubtedly, they are very motivated. The Croatian champion has its first “match ball”, like Ferencvaros.If Ferencvaros beats Jadran Herceg Novi and the Split-based team takes three points in Belgrade, we will know which two teams from this group will advance to the next stage.
ScheduleJadran HN – Ferencvaros (19:00), Crvena Zvezda – Jadran S (20:00)
Standings: 1. Ferencvaros 9, 2. Jadran S 6, 3. Jadran HN 2, 4. Crvena Zvezda 1.
Group D (October 31)
Two very interesting matches are on tomorrow’s schedule in Group D.
Barceloneta will visit Berlin to play against Spandau. The results in the past few seasons and the Spaniards’ 16:6 victory over Spandau say that Barceloneta shouldn’t have a demanding task in the capital of Germany. But, Spandau beat Marseille and Vouliagmeni in the previous two rounds. We’ll see if it is able for a new surprise in its third consecutive home match.
Barceloneta will mathematically be qualified for the quarterfinals under two conditions – if it beats Spandau and Marseille doesn’t earn three points in an away match against Vouliagmeni. The Greeks have no points after three rounds, but they played very well. So, neither of the teams is a favorite in this match.
Schedule: Spandau 04 – Barceloneta (19:30), Vouliagmeni – Marseille (16:00 – 15:00 CET)
Standings: 1. Barceloneta 9, 2. Spandau 6, 3. Marseille 3, 4. Vouliagmeni 0.
Group A (November 1)
The situation in Group A got complicated, and the battle for the top two spots became more interesting after Sabadell shocked Novi Beograd in Belgrade (12:10) and climbed to the top spot. The Spaniards can upgrade that victory, by taking the points points in Brescia on Wednesday. In the first round, Brescia defeated Sabadell in a shootout. Everything is possible in Brescia. Both teams have improved their shape since that duel.
Despite the loss to Sabadell, Novi Beograd still has everything in its own hands. The favorite for the top spot in the group will play against an underdog, Steaua, in Bucharest. The victory will return them on the right track.
Schedule: Steaua – Novi Beograd (18:30 – 17:30 CET), Brescia – Sabadell (20:00)
Standings: 1. Sabadell 7, 2. Novi Beograd 6, 3. Brescia 5, 4. Steaua 0.
Group B (November 1)
Pro Recco, after beating Olympiacos by a goal in the previous round, practically qualified for the quarterfinal group. It can be formalized on Wednesday. Recco travels to Tbilisi, where it will face Dinamo. Nothing but the Italians’ convincing win is expected of this match. With three points, Recco will secure at least second place. Of course, the Italians are the favorites for the top spot. Position 2 wouldn’t satisfy them.
The match, crucial for 2nd place in Group B, will take place in Dubrovnik, where Jug will host Olympiacos. The Croats offered surprisingly strong resistance to Olympiacos in Piraeus, proving that a new team of Jug can go high. Moreover, Jug had a four-goal lead. Still, Olympiacos leveled the score and eventually won two points in a penalty shootout. After that, Jug, which opened the season very well, got into the crisis. It had ups and downs. As usual, the home field should be the Croats’ advantage. On the other side, Olympiacos’ head coach Hrvoje Koljanin, who worked at Jug’s coaching staff last season, arrives in Dubrovnik with a left-handed goal getter Marton Vamos, who missed several matches due to an injury suffered in the first match against Jug.
Schedule: Dinamo Tbilisi – Pro Recco (19:00 – 17:00 CET), Jug AO – Olympiacos (19:00)
Standings: 1. Pro Recco 9, 2. Olympiacos 5, 3. Jug 4, 4. Dinamo 0.
Euro Cup Group Phase, Day 3, Preview
The closely contested and thrilling games played in the first two rounds of the LEN Euro Cup showed that there are no clear favorites this season. The only exception is maybe Vasas. The Budapest-based team narrowly beat Savona in a replay of the 2023 final, but the Hungarians led by five goals in the fourth quarter.
Vasas Telimar, Sabac and Ortigia have won six points each and hold the top spots in their groups.
Only Ortigia will play at home this week. Primorac Kotor will come to Syracuse.
Telimar, the leader of Group A, will face French Tourcoing in Lille (that match will be played on Wednesday).
Sabac recorded two wins on home ground after great comebacks. On Thursday, it will play its first away match in Europe this season. Waspo Hannover will welcome the Serbs.
I Sabac was four goals behind Primorje in the match of the first round, but recorded a 10:8 win. In the second round, the Serbs welcomed BVSC, which took a 3:0 lead, but Sabac came back into the match and recorded a win with an identical score as against Primorje.
Like Sabac, Vasas will travel abroad for the first time this season. The reigning LEN Euro Cup champion competed in the qualification group in Budapest (BVSC was a host), and played the first two matches in the Group Phase in the capital of Hungary (against Honved and Savona). Vasas’ first away game will be the clash with the winner of the 2023 Challenger Cup, Apollon Smyrnis, in Athens. Vasas aims to continue the winning streak, but nobody takes easy points in the Serafio Swimming Pool.
SCHEDULE (November 2)
Group A: Tourcoing – Telimar (November 1 – 21:00), Barcelona – Solaris (20:00)
Standings: 1. Telimar 6, 2. Barcelona 3, 3. Tourcoing 3, 4. Solaris 0.
Group B: Savona – Honved (19:00), Apollon Smyrnis – Vasas (21:00 – 20:00 CET)
Standings: 1. Vasas 6, 2. Savona 3, 3. Honved 3, 4. Apollon 0.
Group C: Waspo 98 Hannover – Sabac (19:00), BVSC – Primorje (19:00)
Standings: 1. Sabac 6, 2. Primorje 3, 3. BVSC 3, 4. Waspo 98 0.
Group D: Ortigia – Primorac (15:00), Panionios – Trieste (20:30 – 19:30 CET)
Standings: 1. Ortigia 6, 2. Primorac 3, 3. Panionios 3, 4. Trieste 0.
The full schedule of the LEN Euro Cup – HERE