The professional German handball club Rhein-Neckar Löwen (founded in 2002) will host the French handball club Montpellier HB (founded in 1982) in the SAP Arena (Mannheim) on 07 November 2018 at 19:00 local time. From all 8 teams (group A) of the VELUX EHF Champions League, the Rhein-Neckar Löwen is #3 ranked with 4 wins and 2 losses and Montpellier HB is #7 with 1 draw and 5 losses
These two teams show opposite results. Four days ago “the lions” won in Hungary against Veszprem with 29-28. In the same date 3 November 2018, Montpellier HB although it was a big favorite against IFK Kristianstad with 1.35 pregame odds for winning, end in a draw with 29-29 score and lost the 5 points halftime advantage. Little by little the team slipped out of control of the game, the lead melted until it was 29:29 before the end. The fact that Melvyn Richardson, who until then, has been very strong, lost the chance of victory underscores the situation in which the team was more than desolate. The crazy thing about it: the team is pretty much the same as the formation that climbed the throne of the VELUX EHF Champions League about six months ago.
Richardson, the unparalleled one-on-one Jonas Truchanovicius and Valentin Porte, the towering Vincent Gerard, who can decide on a good day with his parades a game alone. They all continue to play for Montpellier HB. But they do not win anymore. At least in the Champions League. And the loss of playmaker Diego Simonet of course also hurts. Nevertheless, the French are currently giving up puzzles, especially since it is anything but round in the league. The only real hard game with CL final opponent HBC Nantes was lost with 28:31. Before the hot weeks with key matches in the domestic league and in the Champions League, the squad of Patrice Canayer is under tremendous pressure.
The situation at the Rhein-Neckar Löwen is completely different. After the victory in the Bundesliga at the Bergisch HC and the spectacular success on Saturday in Veszprém, the guys of Canayer colleague Nikolaj Jacobsen are in a great mood. Only three weeks ago it had felt very different, almost a bit like Montpellier. There was the talk of a playful crisis, of bad form and lack of constancy. On top of that, there would be an almost perfect starting position for the second half of the group in the preliminary round for a win against Montpellier.
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