Water Polo Champions League Women: Sabadell, Olympiacos and Mataro ready to continue charge to the Final Four

Credit: Lefteris Katsinoulas

Last season’s finalists Sabadell and Mataro – along with 2021 and 2022 champions Olympiacos – are looking to make no mistakes and move one step closer to securing their place in the Final Four as the competition resumes this week. Day four’s action will see all three sides on the hunt for their fourth successive win, which will firmly tighten their grip on the qualification spot at the top of their respective groups. Also, if results elsewhere go exactly their way, Sabadell and Mataro could even qualify with two rounds left to play.

Title-holders and freshly crowned Super Cup champions Sabadell will secure qualification this week if they win their trip to Mulhouse in Group B AND Alimos fail to return home with three points from their clash away to Dunaujvaros.

Arch-rivals Mataro are also eager to secure another Final Four appearance as early as possible, but for them to do that this week is a more difficult task. They’ll need to beat Eger at home in Group C AND need FTC to win on penalties against Ethnikos.

Even if those scenarios don’t play out, wins for Sabadell and Mataro – regardless of other results – would see them both plant one foot firmly in the next round ahead of the big break (Rounds 5 and 6 will be played in March after the European and World Championships).

Sabadell have also already beaten Mulhouse this season – 18-10 on the opening day – so an away victory is very much on the cards.

Dunaujvaros, who forced a surprisingly tight match against Sabadell in the last round, will go all-out for their first win in Group B, so denying Alimos all three points is a realistic outcome.

Mataro will be in a confident mood ahead of their clash with Eger, as on day one they thrashed the Hungarians (5-18), so, on paper, it should be a comfortable ride for the Spaniards.

The other Magyar team in Group C, FTC, lost a tight battle to Ethnikos in Piraeus in the opening round, and the reverse fixture in Budapest this week promises to be another thrilling match, which Mataro will be hoping goes to a shootout…

Like Sabadell and Mataro, Olympiacos are also on three wins from three so far, but the 2021 and 2022 champions’ Group D showdown with Euro Cup winners UVSE in Budapest could prove tricky, especially if the Hungarians come up with a solid performance.

Elsewhere in Group D, fellow Greek side Vouliagmeni will be looking to keep the pressure on leaders Olympiacos with an away win at Mediterrani.

As an exception, the race for the qualifying top spot in Group A is wide open.

It also looks like an in-house duel between two Spanish teams, Sant Andreu and Terrassa, though the Italian rivals may still want to have their say.

Catch all the action live on European Aquatics youtube channel: www.youtube.com/@LENEuropeanAquatics/streams

And follow all the results live here:

Champions League Women, Round 4
(Saturday, unless stated. Start times all CET)

Group A

13.30 CN Terrassa (ESP) v SIS Roma (ITA)
19.00 CN Sant Andreu (ESP) v Ekipe Orizzonte (ITA)

Standings: 1. St. Andreu 8, 2. Terrassa 6, 3. Orizzonte 3, 4. Roma 1

Group B

17.00 Dunaujvaros (HUN) v Alimos NAC Betsson (GRE)
20.00 Mulhouse WP (FRA) v Astralpool Sabadell (ESP)

Standings: 1. Sabadell 9, 2. Mulhouse 5, 3. Alimos 3, 4. Dunaujvaros 1

Group C

13.00 Assolim Mataro (ESP) v Tigra ZF Eger (HUN)
16.30 FTC-Telekom (HUN) v Ethnikos Piraeus (GRE)

Standings: 1. Mataro 9, 2. Ethnikos 4, 3. FTC 3, 4. Eger 2

Group D

19.00 (Friday) UVSE Budapest (HUN) v Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE)
18.00 CE Mediterrani (ESP) v Vouliagmeni NC (GRE)

Standings: 1. Olympiacos 9, 2. Vouliagmeni 6, 3. UVSE 3, 4. Mediterrani 0