Montpellier travels to Hungary Saturday to face unbeaten Veszprem in a key Group B showdown. Montpellier bounced back from their week 1 defeat to Hamburg with an easy victory over Sweden’s IK Savehof in week 2. Meanwhile Veszprem is riding high from their 3 goal victory last week over Group B favorite Hamburg. A victory for Veszprem gives them a leg up in Group B, while a loss for Montpellier will put them at 1-2. According to online sportsbooks Veszprem is a 3 or 3.5 goal favorite.
As my colleague, Chirster Ahl, pointed out recently four teams will advance from each Group and it’s a safe bet these two sides will advance. So what makes these matches important is the seeding that will come out of the group. A first seed will likely mean an easy match up in the round of 16 and an easier opponent in the quarter finals. A second seed will mean a stronger challenge in the round of 16 and a likely matchup vs. a #1 seed in the quarter. A third seed means even worse prospects and who knows, Denmark’s KIF Kolding might be for real with their 2-0 record so Montpellier could even be looking at a fourth seed if they keep losing.
For U.S. residents there is the added treat that this broadcast will be available on TV via the MHz Network at 1600 Eastern Time. See the press release for information on where you can watch this channel. MHZ is not ESPN, but it is available through a number of different avenues including Direct TV and via arrangements with local stations in several markets. We’ll be researching this more in the coming weeks. For those without MHz ehfTV will broadcast the match live at 1725 Central European Time (1125 U.S. Eastern Time)
ehfTV On Demand Video Link: http://www.ehftv.com/ec/cl/men/2010-11/video/001160
USA Team Handball: MHz Worldview to Air Velux EHF Champions League Across USA: http://usateamhandball.org/news/2010/10/08/mhz-worldview-to-air-velux-ehf-champions-league-across-usa/38948?ngb_id=42
EHF: Interview with Veszprem’s Mark Vujin: http://www.ehfcl.com/men/2010-11/article/13406/%22My+legs+are+much+stronger%21%22