Just hours before the Champions League Men Group Stage begins, draws for three club competitions were held in Barcelona, ensuring that there will be even more excitement in the other three series as well
Champions League Women:
Featuring the top sixteen clubs of the Old Continent, this newly shaped competition promises even more thrills as the first-ever group stage is set to start in two weeks. The draw has set up fantastic encounters for each round.
Take Group A, which is going to be a battle between Italy and Spain, with the 8-time champion Orizzonte and SIS Roma facing the surprise team of the qualification round, Sant Andreu, and fellow Spanish side Terrassa.
Title-holder Sabadell is going to be challenged by the two other teams that stood out last week – France’s Mulhouse, who swept all four matches in the QR, and Greece’s Alimos. Last but not least, Dunaujvaros is the fourth team here – last season, they stunned many by reaching the F4, and the young side may just be planning something similar.
Group C can be considered the toughest group, with Hungarian champion Eger and Hungarian cup winner Ferencvaros coming together with last season’s runner-up, Mataro, and 2022 LEN Trophy (now Euro Cup) winner Ethnikos.
The “Group of the Greeks” also promises prime-time entertainment as Olympiacos and Vouliagmeni take on Euro Cup title-holder UVSE and last season’s quarter-finalist, Mediterrani.
Note that only the group winners will advance right to the Final Four, so the fights in the pool will only intensify round by round.
Ekipe Orizzonte (ITA), CN Sant Andreu (ESP), SIS Roma (ITA), CN Terrassa (ESP)
Astralpool CN Sabadell (ESP), Mulhouse WP (FRA), Alimos NAC Betsson (GRE), Dunaujvaros (HUN)
Tigra-ZF-Eger (HUN), Assolim CN Mataro (ESP), Ethnikos Piraeus (GRE), FTC-Telekom (HUN)
Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE), UVSE Budapest (HUN), Vouliagmeni (GRE), CN Mediterrani (ESP)
Euro Cup Men
Title-holder Vasas will need to dig deep as they landed in a group that cannot be any tougher. First of all, they will have a replay of last season’s final against Italy’s Savona, but they also need to face fellow Hungarian rival Honved and Challenger Cup title-holder Apollon from Greece.
Clubs in the other groups will also have some fun – Group A will have a colorful company with Italy’s Palermo, Spain’s Barcelona, Croatia’s Solaris and France’s Tourcoing. Group C provides the fans with the ever-mouth-watering Serbian v Croatian classic with Sabac and Primorje and these two are also to meet with two of the toughest runners-up from the QR, Hungary’s BVSC and Waspo Hannover, the German side with plenty of Champions League (even Final Eight) experience.
Group D offers another national battle with Trieste and Ortigia, and the Italians will have to stay on top of their game against Montenegrin Primorac and Greece’s Panionios.
Telimar Palermo (ITA), CN Barcelona (ESP), VK Solaris (CRO), EN Tourcoing (FRA)
Endo Plus Service-Honved (HUN), A-HID Vasas Plaket (HUN), GS Apollon Smyrnis (GRE), Rari Nantes Savona (ITA)
VK Sabac Elixir (SRB), Primorje Erste Bank (CRO), BVSC-Zuglo (HUN), Waspo 98 Hannover (GER)
Pallanuoto Trieste (ITA), VPK Primorac Kotor (MNE), CC Ortigia (ITA), Panionios GSS (GRE)
Euro Cup Women
In the second-tier cup, teams from the same nation avoided each other – though it’s a hard call to name the favorites, especially in Group A. In the other quartet, BVSC and Trieste might have an easier ride to clinch one of the top two spots which would qualify them to the Final Four.
Lille UC (FRA), ANC Glyfada iRepair (GRE), Antenore Plebiscito Padova (ITA), ZV De Zaan (NED)
BVSC-Zuglo (HUN), Pallaunoto Trieste (ITA), Spandau 04 Berlin (GER), Grand Nancy (FRA)