lunedì 29 settembre 2014

Champions League second round draw

The draw for the second round of the Champions League, conducted on Monday at the LEN office in Luxembourg, unveiled some interesting match-ups in the battle for the top 2 spots in the groups in order to advance to the play-off round 3. Four groups of four teams will be played around Europe from 17-19 October. In Hannover, Germany one of the title favorites Pro Recco will square off with Red Star Belgrade once again. The Italians knocked out the 2012 European champions in last year's play-off round but for now will see a different opponent as Red Star's squad was significantly rejuivenated during last summer. With Spartak Volgograd in the group however, the favorite to join Recco in the available spots for round 3 is mentioned.  OSC will be hosting group B where Germany runners-up Duisburg, Russian runners-up Sintez Kazan and Romanian champions CSM Oradea thus making the home side one of the favorites to clinch either one of the two top spots in the group. Group C sees Croatian champion Primorje joining fellow Croatian and still unbeaten side Mladost in facing Jadran Herceg Novi and Marseille as an interesting battle for the second spot could be ahead of us although Mladost showed great form in round 1 winning 5 out of 5 matches. Group D will second title favorite Szolnok facing hosts Radnicki, Italians Posillipo and Turkish newcomers Yuzme Istanbul in what is likely to be come a nice battle for the second spot behind the heavily favorite Hungarians.

LEN Champions League 2014-2015
Qualification round 2

17-19 October, 2014

Group A (to be played in Hannover, Germany)

- Pro Recco (ITA)
- Red Star Belgrade (SRB)
- Spartak Volgograd (RUS)
- Waspo 98 Hannover (GER)

Group B (to be played in Budapest, Hungary)

- ASC Duisburg (GER)
- OSC Budapest (HUN)
- Sintez Kazan (RUS)
- CSM Digi Oradea (ROU)

Group C (to be played in Zagreb, Croatia)

- Primorje EB Rijeka (CRO)
- HAVK Mladost Zagreb (CRO)
- Jadran Herceg Novi (MNE)
- CN Marseille (FRA)

Group D (to be played in Kragujevac, Serbia)

- Yuzme Istanbul (TUR)
- Szolnok (HUN)
- VK Radnicki Kragujevac (SRB)
- CN Posillipo (ITA)

Top 2 of these groups advance to play-off qualification round 3 (29 October; leg 1 - 12 November; leg 2).

Wild card teams (directly qualified for preliminary round)

- Jug Dubrovnik (CRO)
- C.N. Atletic-Barceloneta (ESP)
- Wasserfreunde Spandau Berlin (GER)
- Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE)
- ZF-Eger (HUN)
- AN Brescia (ITA)
- VK Partizan Raiffeisen Belgrade (SRB)
- Galatasaray Istanbul (TUR)

Season dates

Preliminary Round

29 November, 2014
17 December, 2014
14 January, 2015
28 January, 2015
11 February, 2015
4 March, 2015
25 March, 2015
8 April, 2015
18 April, 2015
2 May, 2015

Champions League Final Six

28-30 May, 2015
Barcelona (ESP).

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