After a 3 week break the Champions League is now back for 3 consecutive weeks. This week’s “Match of the Week” has two top German sides (Flensburg and Hamburg) facing off in a derby to decide who will sit at the top of the standings in Group D. Hamburg currently lead the group with an unblemished 4-0-0 record while Flensburg is a point behind due to their draw in week 4 against Naturhouse La Rioja. Separated by 100 miles these two sides know each other very well. In fact, last year by some quirks in scheduling they ended up playing each other 7 times. So far this year, they’ve only met once with Flensburg beating Hamburg 31-29 last Sunday in an HBL matchup. Saturday’s match is in Hamburg and includes Tom Ó Brannagáin’s English language commentary.
Hamburg vs. Flensburg (Saturday, 16 Nov 1445 CET/0845 U.S. Eastern Time)
If you can’t catch the match live it will also be available later “on demand”. (Note to U.S. residents: It appears that beIN Sports, the U.S. TV rights holder, has decided to not broadcast this week’s Match of the Week.)
The other big match of the week is a showdown derby Thursday night in Macedonia, between Skopje’s Vardar and Metalurg clubs. Both sides have shown their worthiness in the Champions League this season as neither Barca or Paris were able to travel to Skopje and leave with a victory. This time around, however, there will be no overwhelming home crowd as both clubs will be represented at the Boris Trajkovski Arena. (Currently, I’m planning to do an audio commentary that you can synch up with the video and that will likely be available Friday morning.)
Metalurg vs Vardar (Thursday, 14 Nov 2000 CET/1400 U.S. Eastern Time)
The one other match I’ll be checking out this weekend is Kolding vs. Kielce on Sunday. Thanks to their victory in week 4 over Kiel, Poland’s Kielce is all alone in first place in Group B. In all likelihood, the winner of the Group will come down to the second Kiel-Kielce showdown, but if either of those two slides is going to slip up, the most likely place they’ll do so is their away match at Denmark’s Kolding.
Kolding vs Kielce (Sunday, 17 Nov 1700 CET/1100 U.S. Eastern Time)
I will replace the live video links with on demand video links when they are available at the ehfTV website. If you go to the ehf website yourself click on the side arrows to get to the “Full Match” page. A word of caution, however, the EHF sometimes posts match interviews with revealing titles like “Jicha scores the decisive goal,” so you might want to use a sheet of paper to mask the screen if you want to watch the matches obliious to the outcome.
ehfTV Page: Link
EHF Week 5 Preview: Link (A written summary by Bjoen Pazen previewing all 12 matches)
Tom Ó Brannagáin’s latest blog post: Link