The VELUX EHF Champions League Qualification matches between RK Metalurg and PICK Szeged will be played on Wednesday (19hrs) in Skopje and Szeged on Sunday (19hrs). Two good squads will have to fight for the place in European elite since Metalurg lost Championship in Macedonia and Hungary stayed without one place at VELUX EHF CL.
Handball-Planet.com prepared preview of this clash:
Home court (RK Metalurg)
– With over 6000 fans on every single match last year at VELUX EHF Champions League, Lino Cervar’s team had fantastic “wind” for the fantastic success – TOP 8. Handball euphoria in Macedonia is still strong, Metalurg’s matches was some kind of “must do” activity in Macedonian capital during last season, so there is no doubt that same atmosphere won’t be repeated this time.
Winning mentality (RK Metalurg)
– Lino Cervar is coach-winner. He will do everything to secure place of his team at the EHF CL. EHF Cup doesn’t meet standard of ambitious team as Metalurg. That kind of mentality brought them fantastic results in the previous season, where they beat some teams who were “bigger” on the paper…
Defense and “ball control” handball (RK Metalurg)
– Strong defense on the edge of exclusions was one of the symbols of Metalurg’s style. Also “ball control” games named by Lino Cervar are one of the biggest strength of Macedonian team.
“Long bench” (PICK Szeged)
The main advantage for Pick Szeged is more players who can play at the highest possible level. Juan Pastor has much more experienced (Vadkerti, Kekezovic, Parrondo and Lasica) wings than Lino Cervar (Recovered Manaskov, Ojleski, Georgievski and Mojsoski). Also in rotation on back positions he can use more players (Ilyes, Sulc, Mindegia, Larholm), while on left back and playmaker’s position, the only quality substitution for Mirkulovski and Mojsovski is Russian star Pavel Atman. The quality of goalkeepers and line-players is also much more balanced in Hungarian squad.
Second match at home (PICK Szeged)
The real target will be known after the first match in Skopje. PICK Szeged will have exact number of goals which they would have to achieve for placement at European elite.
Time to adapt on new system (PICK Szeged)
The possible main weaknesses for Pick Szeged could be a short period of time to adapt on Juan Pastor’s style. Coach with great background came to the country with different handball tradition and in the team with a lot of domestic players. That could be the biggest problem. The most important matches of the season are the first official matches for the new coach…
Injuries, displeasure, departure (RK Metalurg)
The biggest Metalurg’s warrior in the previous fantastic season was line-player Mladen Rakcevic, who suddenly left the club as a wish of Lino Červar. His “partnership” with playmaker Naumce Mojsovski was one of the symbol of Metalurg’s game. The first left wing Dejan Manaskov is just recovered from the knee injury and it is questionable how much he can help his team-mates. Also, Darko Stanic is unsatisfied with his status in the club. He wanted to leave team this summer, but he has valid contract until 2015. All these thing could be possible danger for Lino Cervar.
Naumce Mojsovski, Darko Stanic – Frantisek Sulc, Roland Mikler, Garcia Parrondo
POSSIBLE Man of the Match
Pavel Atman – Niko Mindegia
RK METALURG – PICK SZEGED 51% – 49%