Champions League (All Eyes Turn to the Draw)

Group play concluded this weekend with a few minor surprises. Notably, Valladolid’s 9 meter throw with one second left that gave them a draw vs Montpellier and a top seed in the round of 16.

A lot is at stake tomorrow and most of the teams are keeping quiet as to who they’d prefer to play. No sense in saying something to motivate the opposition. We don’t have to worry about that so here’s our assessment of the 16 remaining teams and where they stand relative to each other.

[b]The Powerhouses:[/b] These 4 sides are at the top of their game and will be huge favorites to advance no matter who they draw for the round of 16:

1) Portland San Antonio
2) Ciudad Real
3) Kiel
4) Flensburg

[b]The Second Tier:[/b] These 4 sides will likely be favored going into the next round, but they are beatable especially if they meet one of the members of the next category.

5) Kolding
6) Gummersbach
7) Barcelona
8 ) Valladolid

[b]Dangerous 2nd Seeds: [/b] These are the 4 teams that no one will want to see pulled out of the ping pong ball at the drawing on Tuesday. Montpellier and Celje have both won titles in the past. These teams are capable of an upset against the powerhouses and would battle the second tier teams evenly.

1) Celje
2) Montpellier
3) Veszprem
4) Chehovskie Medvedi

[b]Thanks for Participating, We Have some Lovely Parting Gifts: [/b] Reaching the Round of 16 is an accomplishment for these sides- Going farther in the Champions League will be a lot tougher. If matched up against one of the 4 Powerhouses, it would be a major upset for them to advance. If they draw a 2nd tier team they will have some hope, but even then they will be significant underdogs.

5) GOG Svendborg
6) Pick Szeged
7) Chambery
8 ) Gold Club Kozina

The draw is scheduled for 11:00 AM, Tuesday, 14 November. Drawings have been webcast previously, but the EHF site doesn’t indicate whether this one will be.