The Road to Miami: French League Quarterfinal Draw

The Ligue Nationale du Handball held a draw earlier this morning to determine quarterfinal matchups for the Coupe de la Ligue tournament. The results of the draw:

Aurillac – Paris
Tremblay – Chambéry
Istres – Toulouse
Montpellier – Dunkerque

These 4 matches will be played in Cannes, December 20-21, and the winner of each match will qualify for the finals in Miami, April 10-12.

[b]First Round Results[/b] (played October 4th)
Sélestat 19 30 [b]Tremblay [/b]
[b]Dunkerque[/b] 30 29 Ivry
Nîmes 22 24 [b]Istres[/b]
[b]Aurillac[/b] 30 28 Nantes
[b]Paris[/b] 28 21 Créteil
[b]Toulouse [/b] 37 36 Saint
(Montpellier and Chambery had a bye)

[b]Analysis:[/b] Other than the bye awarded to Montpellier and Chambery in the first round, the matchups in this tournament are strictly, the luck of the draw. As evidence of this, the matchup between perennial power Montpellier and top club Dunkerque looms large in the Quarterfinals as one of those teams will not make the trip to Miami. Conversely, Istres and Toulouse, two clubs that have finished in the middle of the standings (or worse) in recent years now have an opportunity to reach the final. Aurillac – Paris also falls in that category to a certain extent as both teams have not impressed so far this season. Paris has a couple of months to get their act together, however, and will likely be favored to win this matchup. Finally, the Tremblay – Chambery match should be interesting. Tremblay has made great strides in recent years and is currently in 3rd place, just 1 point behind Chambery.

Ligue Nationale du Handball website- Article on draw results (French):