Champions League Final (2nd Leg Preview)

Kiel’s 39-34 win in the first leg gives them a distinct edge in winning the overall battle on aggregate. Not an insurmountable deficit, but a challenging one for Ciudad Real even on their home floor. Here’s a few observations and things to look for in the 2nd leg.

[b]Kiel’s fast play:[/b] Kiel’s ability to immediately restart on offense after made goals and turnovers was a critical difference in the last match. Not only did it lead to several goals, but it also kept the world’s top court defender, Didier Dinart, sitting on the sidelines and hopelessly watching even when Kiel pulled up on the fast break and set up their offense. (Memo to Dinart: The offense to defense switch can’t always be made: work on your offensive skills so that the coach can decide to keep you in the game)

[b]Emergence of Filip Jicha:[/b] He’s always been a good player, but this season he’s taken it to another level. Watching Jicha in the past it’s been too much hit or miss in his performance. A powerful jump shot has always been there, but so to were too many turnovers and ill advised shots. It will be very interesting to see how he performs next year, though, without Karabatic by his side.

[b]5 goal or 6 goal deficit?: [/b] Watch the pace of the game to see if Ciudad Real will need a 5 or 6 goal victory. The key number is 34 (Ciudad Real’s away goal total). If Kiel is on a pace for 35 or more goals, Ciudad Real will need to win by 6.

[b]Bonus Games:[/b] ehfTV is providing coverage of the game again, but is also showing the 2nd legs of the EHF Cup and the Cupwinners Cup matches. The Champions League match, however, won’t be available in many countries due to TV restrictions. The full match was available, however, about 24 hours later. If you want to watch without knowing the score check back here for the link to the video.

2nd Leg Kiel at Ciudad Real Sunday, 31 May at 1800 CET [b]VIDEO: [/b]
(SPOILER ALERT: The photo of the game gives away the outcome. Cover the screen with a sheet of paper then click on the photo to avoid finding out what happens.)

[b]Updated Odds [/b](Courtesy of Best Betting

[u]To Win the Champions League[/u]
Kiel (-400) (Bet $400 to win $100)
Ciudad Real (+255) (Bet 100 to win $250)

[u]To win 2nd leg[/u]
Ciudad Real (-286)
Kiel (+350)

[u]2nd Leg Handicap (point spread)[/u]
Ciudad Real (-3)