The hunt for a place in the Euro Cup Eight Finals intensifies this week as the group stage reaches its penultimate day. With 13 of the 16 teams still fighting for a qualification spot – Apollon, Trieste and Solaris having already been ruled out – another round of dramatic and thrilling battles across the continent awaits. A win for any of the group leaders – Barcelona, Vasas, BVSC and Primorac – will see them advance to the knockout stage, but several teams are ready to spoil their plans and book their own ticket to the next phase.
Day five’s Group A action starts on Wednesday night in northern France, as second-placed Tourcoing play their final home match against leaders Barcelona.
The Spaniards won the reverse fixture 15-13 on day two, and another victory will see them become the first team to reach the Eight Finals. A win for the hosts, though, would move them into top spot ahead of next month’s last round of games.
Elsewhere in Group A, third-placed Telimar travel to Sibenik on Thursday to take on bottom side Solaris.
Group B serves up the clash of the round and another replay of last season’s final, as the top two teams – Vasas and Savona – meet in Italy.
The Hungarians will still be hurting after missing the chance to qualify last week after losing an epic encounter (16-19 after penalties) with local rivals Honved, but a win against the Italians will ensure they progress at the second time of asking.
A victory for Savona, however, would see them leapfrog the reigning champions at the summit and secure their own ticket to the Eight Finals.
Third-placed Honved will be keeping a close eye on events in Italy, as a Vasas win would put Honved’s destiny in their own hands if they beat already-eliminated Apollon in Greece. The Hungarians host Savona on day six in what could be a winner-takes-all affair.
In Group C, all four teams remain in contention for a spot in the next round, but leaders BVSC are in the driving seat.
The Hungarians host third-placed Sabac knowing a win will see them qualify, but they can expect a tough ride as the Serbians beat them 10-8 on day two.
In Hannover, bottom side Waspo 98 take on Primorje, where a home win – coupled with a BVSC victory – would leave three teams locked on six points going into the final round of games.
Group D’s top-of-the-table meeting between Panionios and Primorac in Athens is set to be another exciting tussle.
The visitors – and leaders – need a win to advance to the knockout stage, but beating the Greeks in their own pool is a difficult task. Panionios also edged the reverse fixture 9-10, and if they complete the double over their rivals, it’ll see them move top by two points.
Finally, in an all-Italian encounter, third-placed Ortigia will be gunning to get the better of Trieste at home and keep themselves firmly in the battle for a qualification place ahead of next month’s deciders.
Watch all this week’s action live – https://www.youtube.com/@LENEuropeanAquatics
Follow all the results here – https://len-ws.microplustimingservices.com/leneurocup
Euro Cup, Group Stage, Round 5
Thursday 23 November (unless stated)
Local times shown
9.15pm Tourcoing (FRA) v Barcelona (ESP)
(Wednesday 22 November)
8pm Solaris (CRO) v Telimar (ITA)
Standings: 1. Barcelona (9pts) 2. Tourcoing (7pts) 3. Telimar (6pts) 4. Solaris (2pts)
9pm Apollon (GRE) v Honved (HUN)
7pm Savona (ITA) v Vasas (HUN)
Standings: 1. Vasas (10pts) 2. Savona (9pts) 3. Honved (5pts) 4. Apollon (0pts)
8pm BVSC (HUN) v Sabac (SRB)
7pm Waspo 98 (GER) v Primorje (CRO)
Standings: 1. BVSC (9pts) 2. Primorje (6pts) 3. Sabac (6pts) 4. Waspo 98 (3pts)
3pm Ortigia (ITA) v Trieste (ITA)
8.30pm Panionios (GRE) v Primorac (MNE)
Standings: 1. Primorac (9pts) 2. Panionios (8pts) 3. Ortigia (6pts) 4. Trieste (1pt)