Can Jug and Vouliagmeni hold on?

With three rounds to go, six spots have already been booked, only the races for the fourth places in both groups are intense and offer great excitements. Jug Dubrovnik and Vouliagmeni are the ‘favoured’ sides to clinch the remaining two berths, still, they need to be on top of their game to keep their current positions.

The leaders of group B, Brescia, Novi Beograd and Ferencvaros are facing challenging away matches on Tuesday and those fights might even shake up the current ranks which otherwise looks like settled. Brescia are visiting Sabadell and the Spaniards posted a series of fine wins at home and they still have a very slim hope of making the F8 in case the other results favour them.

That includes Novi Beograd’s winning in Dubrovnik – that’s going to be the big match of the day and not only because a Croatian v Serbian clash is always mouthwatering. Jug are still not in safe, need a win at home badly as they face two tough away games in the last two rounds, in Marseille and in Brescia.

Marseille may also look for a miracle, they have to beat Ferencvaros at first, then Jug, then OSC – and their faith is still not in their hands. At the same time, the Hungarians are also determined to bag three points as they may also count on some hiccups from their big rivals. Fellow Budapest side OSC pay a visit to Berlin where Spandau are also eager to grab the last chance as they also count on Novi Beograd’s ‘help’ as Serb win in Dubrovnik and the Germans’ triumph over OSC would cut the gap to a single point between them and the Croats.

In Group A, it’s hard not to see Barceloneta finishing atop – the Spaniards are facing an easy away game against bottom-ranked Hannover, while Recco should also pass the test in Kragujevac with flying colours. Olympiacos should be cautious while clashing Jadran in Piraeus as the Croats are on fire, beat Jug in the first game of the domestic final despite a terrible 0-4 start, and an unexpected win would keep them in the race for the fourth place. 

Currently, Vouliagmeni are on track to go to Belgrade, in case of equal points – as it is now – they would finish ahead of Jadran, but they cannot afford dropping a single point in the must-win matches, like their upcoming encounter in Tbilisi.

Day 12, Fixtures

Group B (Tuesday)

19.00 Jug Adriatic Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO) v Novi Beograd (SRB)

19.30 Astralpool Sabadell (ESP) v AN Brescia (ITA)

19.30 Spandau 04 Berlin (GER) v Genesys OSC Budapest (HUN)

20.00 CN Marseille (FRA) v FTC Telekom Budapest (HUN)

Standings: 1. Brescia 28, 2. Novi Beograd 25, 2.  3. Ferencvaros 22, 4. Jug 15, 5. Spandau 11, 6. Sabadell 10, 7. OSC 7, 8. Marseille 7

Group A (Wednesday)

19.00 (16.00 CET) Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) v NC Vouliagmeni (GRE)

19.00 Waspo 98 Hannover (GER) v Zodiac CNA Barceloneta (ESP)

19.30 (18.30 CET) Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) v Jadran Split (CRO)

20.30 Radnicki Kragujevac (SRB) v Pro Recco (ITA)

Standings: 1. Barceloneta 30, 2. Recco 27, 3. Olympiacos 25, 4. Vouliagmeni 14, 5. Jadran 14, 6. Radnicki 9, 7. Dinamo 6, 8. Hannover 3