Recco and FTC in pole position to finish top

Photo: Jordi López

The final round of the Quarter Final Stage shall determine the pairings of the semis in the Final Four. The top spot is at stake in both groups, with title-holders Recco and 2019 champions Ferencvaros both enjoying a point advantage, but they face challenging home matches against Novi Beograd and Barceloneta respectively.

Champions League Quarter Final Stage
Fixtures, Day 6
(all times are CET)
Group A (Wednesday)
19.00 Pro Recco (ITA) v Novi Beograd (SRB)
20.00 CN Marseille (FRA) v VK Jadran Split (CRO)
Standings: 1. Recco 14, 2. Novi Beograd 13, 3. Marseille 3, 4. Jadran 0

Group B (Tuesday)
18.30 Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) v AN Brescia (ITA)
20.00 FTC-Telekom (HUN) v Zodiac CNA Barceloneta (ESP)
Standings: 1. FTC 12, 2. Olympiacos 11, 3. Barceloneta 7, 4. Brescia 0

Photo: Miodrag Todorovic

We already know the four advancing sides, but their final rankings in the Quarter Final Stage and consequently the pairings of the semi-finals are yet to be decided.

Before the last day, Pro Recco and Ferencvaros both hold a single-point advantage ahead of their respective challengers, Novi Beograd and Olympiacos.

In Group A, it all comes down to the grand clash of Recco and NBG in the magnficent pool of Sori, nestled in the Ligurian coastline.

Recco can even afford a shootout loss to keep their top position, while the Serbs need a ‘three-pointer’ to pass the title-holders.

On Day 3, the Italians blew a six-goal lead and left the decision to the penatlies where at least they bagged two points – this gives them the advantage before this last game.

Photo: Jordi López

Ferencvaros are in a different situation as they play against Barceloneta which bowed out in the penultimate round after falling to beat Olympiacos at home.

On the same day, the Hungarians experienced how hard a clash could become against a rival which had nothing to lose as they barely downed Brescia.

For sure, the Spaniards want to send a sign that despite their utter disappointment, they are still a formidable team.

The hosts have to be ready for that as keeping the top spot would most probably mean they avoid a semi-final showdown with Recco.

This may put them under some pressure as they don’t have fond memories from the last three editions – they met Recco in the 2021 final, the 2022 semi-final and the 2023 quarter-final and the eventual champions never left them a chance.

Photo: Miodrag Todorovic

By the time of the swim-off in Budapest, FTC will already know the result from Piraeus where Olympiacos entertain Brescia.

The Greeks may have less headaches as the Italians have had darker days recently – besides losing all five Quarter Final matches so far, they also failed to make the domestic cup final.

The fourth match between Marseille and Jadran, in Group A, will be a game of pride.

While the Croats are yet to win a match in this stage, they will probably be more focused on their gruelling national title series against Jug that’s coming up.

Marseille, meanwhile, have already ticked that box, after retaining their French title and all they wish is to finish the season on a high note at home.

You can follow all the action and results from the Champions League Quarter Final Stage live on the dedicated European Aquatics Champions League website.

And stream every game live, or watch the replays, by clicking here.

Ticket details for the Final Four in Malta (5th-7th June) can be found by clicking here.

Photo: Jordi López

Pre-game stats

Group A (Wednesday)

Pro Recco (ITA) v VK Novi Beograd (SRB)
REC: WWWWW
15-8 Marseille (h), 13-10 Jadran (a), 15-14 (pen) NBG (a), 12-10 Marseille (a), Jadran 18-9 (h)
NBG: WWLWW
15-11 Jadran (h), 14-13 Marseille (a), 14-15 (pen) Recco (h), 15-10 Jadran (a), Marseille 13-10 (h)
Head-to-head: 3-0
Day 3: 10-10, pen: 5-4. 2022-23: 14-11 (final). 2021-22: 13-13, pen: 4-3 (final)

CN Marseille (FRA) v VK Jadran Split (CRO)
MAR: LLWLL
8-15 Recco (a), 13-14 NBG (h), 14-12 Jadran (a), 10-12 Recco (h), NBG 10-13 (a)
JAD: LLLLL
11-15 NBG (a), 10-13 Recco (h), 12-14 Marseille (h), 10-15 NBG (h), Recco 9-18 (a)
Head-to-head: 1-0
Day 3: 14-12

Group B (Tuesday)

FTC Telekom Budapest (HUN) v Zodiac CNA Barceloneta (ESP)
FTC: WWWLW
11-9 Olympiacos (h), 11-9 Brescia (a), 10-8 Barceloneta (a), 8-10 Olympiacos (a), 9-8 Brescia (h)
BAR: WLLWL
12-8 Brescia (h), Olympiacos 7-10 (a), 8-10 FTC (h), 12-5 Brescia (a), 18-19 (pen) Olympiacos (h)
Head-to-head: 4-3 (1d)
Day 3: 10-8. 2021-22: 7-17, 12-12. 2020-21: 8-7, 11-10. 2018-19: 5-8, 8-9 (prelims), 9-7 (SF).

Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) v AN Brescia (ITA)
OLY: LWWWW
9-11 FTC (a), 10-7 Barceloneta (h), 13-12 Brescia (a), 10-8 FTC (h), 19-18 (pen) Barceloneta (a)
BRE: LLLLL
8-12 Barceloneta (a), 9-11 FTC (h), 12-13 Olympiacos (h), 5-12 Barceloneta (h), 8-9 FTC (a)
Head-to-head: 7-1 (1d)
Day 3: 13-12. 2018-19: 8-7 (QF). 2017-18: 7-6,13- 6. 2016-17: 10-13, 8-4 (prelims), 8-5 (5-6th). 2014-15: 9-9, 8-6