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22.06.2010 12:50

Kiel, Celje, Chambery and Kielce in Handball Champions League

Meritxell Infante

Barça Borges know their group stage rivals in the 2010/2011 Handball Champions League. They will once again be meeting the side they met on this year’s final, Kiel plus Celje, Chambery and Kielce.

It all looks like a thrilling group for Barça Borges. The draw in Vienna today pitted them against the defending champions as well as Kiel, Celje, Chambery, Vive Targi Kielce, plus one team that will come through the preliminary round involving EHF wildcard clubs.

Kiel again

Kiel are familiar rivals for Pascual and his men, having met them three times in the last edition. Barça and the Germans first met in the groups, with Kiel surprising Barça at the Palau, but the Catalans gained revenge with a first ever win in the Sparkassen Arena (). The sides were destined to meet once again in the final in Cologne, with the German outfit emerging victorious.

Familiar European foe

QM3D0439.jpgCelje are another FCB have met several times in the past. The Slovenian champions have played Barça ten times, eight of which were semi final encounters. Barcelona have had some of their most dramatic comeback games against Celje, the lates in their title winning 2004/05 season.

Chambery and Kielce, strong rivals

Chambery Savoie and Vive Targi Kielce are two sides Barça have never played. The French runners up are in the tournament for the fifth time, having finished fifth in their group last time round, where they also met Kielce. The Polish side is coached by former FCB man Bogdan Wenta, and caused some shocks last season. They came through the qualifiers and then finished third in their group to go into the round of sixteen, where they almost shocked the great Hamburg too.

Barça will have to wait before they know who the otyher side is in their six-team group. The wildcard tournament in September will provide one more team out of Ademar, Rhein Neckar Lowen, Silkeborg or Gorenje Velenje.
Kiel, Celje, Chambery and Kielce in Handball Champions League
The other groups
Group B: Veszprém, Montpeller, Hamburg, Kolding, Savehof, winner preliminary phase 1

Group C: Txekhovskie, Aalborg, Pick Szeged, Valladolid, Kadetten, winner preliminary phase 2

Group D: Ciudad Real, Zagreb, St. Petersburg, Flensburg, Sarajevo, Constanta

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