Zagreb vs Celje by 20Legend
This match represents a classic when it comes to handball as the Croatian Zagreb will take on the Slovenian Celje in Zagreb Arena. Zagreb is on a current 5th place at the table and either a win or a draw will make them advance from this group. A loose could be critical as they then invites Celje into the game for advancement. Celje has the current 7th place with three points up to the top six teams. If they should win this match, they will be two points behind Zagreb, and they meet rock bottom Besiktas in their last game. Zagreb is not that lucky as they face 4th placed THW Kiel away from home in their final game, which means that they want to finish it off tonight. There will be two absentees tonight as Sandra Obranovic and Luka Stepancic are both missing.
Celje has also a huge pressure on their own shoulders in this match as they have to get at least one point from Zagreb tonight, in order to still have an opportunity to advance in the last match next weekend. Their Slovenian fans are expected to support their team at this crucial moment as at least 100 are expected to take the trip to Zagreb. It should therefore be a very nice atmosphere in this important match. Celje is dealing with some injuries at the moment with Dujmovic and Patrianova being ruled out, while Zarabec is doubtful ahead of tonight’s game.
This is two very physical teams and their last meeting ended in a tough fight with a narrow 21-20 win for Zagreb. However, that was mainly because of the two goalkeepers that showed amazing skills throughout the whole match making it almost impossible to score. Celje’s keeper, Lesjak, had almost 20 saves which is off course important for them.
I expect another physical match tonight and it is interesting when looking at the total of goals in this match. Both goalkeepers had a fantastic match last time they met, but Zagreb has shown some better offensive play lately after getting players back which gives a wider squad. Celje is not known for being too solid defensively this season, and it is all about whether Lesjak is in form or not that will decide if this match goes over or under the total. I am still looking at the under 52.5 goals as a good pick here, as I see the physical aspect of this match being so tough that the game will have several slow-scoring periods. All of their three meeting has ended under 50 goals (45, 46, 41), and even if both teams must win and Zagreb has been looking slightly better offensively of late, I am backing the alternative of under 52.5 goals tonight.