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Pro Recco to bounce back in Dubrovnik?

Recco's first loss in the Champions League rocked the headlines on day 6 of the Champions League prelims already a month ago. Now the defending champs are set to meet another major contender in group B as Jug await at home in Dubrovnik on Saturday. Meanwhile the preliminary stage moves on and gets to an exciting but tense showdown in group A where multiple teams are battling for the just 2 available spots for the Final Six in Budapest. Olympiacos is looking good leading the pack but Barceloneta and even Primorje are not far behind. So still a lot to fight four in the remaining 4 matches of this 10-round preliminary stage with day 7 coming up.

Spearheading the group A match-ups on Saturday will be Olympiacos hosting Barceloneta for the top spot in the group. Both teams had their ups and downs so far but legitimately battlling for the top spots and Final Six qualification. Now the Greek champions get a nice chance of breaking free in the standings and take a giant leap towards 'Budapest 2016'. The opposition however is tough. Barceloneta, trailing Olympiacos by just a point, held off Sant Andreu 7-6 for their 4th straight Spanish cup last weekend and come in more a team than ever before this season. Two dynamic sides will surely make up for an exciting battle near Athens with first place in the group as a nice stake.
In other group A matches Eger, hosting the Final Six and therefore already qualified, take on Jadran Herceg Novi at home being favourites to win it although their last-second draw with Honvéd in the Hungarian league last weekend might need the Hungarians to shake off some dissapointment on Saturday. Primorje, current 4th seed in the group, welcome Spandau to Rijeka. The Germans have proved their strength, especially at home, so far this campaign and actually held Primorje to a 9-9 draw in Berlin on day 4. Time for revenge for the Croatian and Regional league champions.

In group B all eyes will be on Dubrovnik where Jug take on Pro Recco in another much anticipated match-up for the All-Star cast of Recco. For one of the few times so far the last years the squad needs to bounce back from a loss as Szolnok ran away with a 12-11 win in Hungary on day 6. Still the Italians are in the lead in group B but find Jug tied in points. Now the decision in the standings could be made if the visitors manage to walk away with a victory on Saturday but find a Jug side that is still unbeaten at home so far and in fact, only lost once, to Recco, this season in the Champions League. The tough 14-6 loss to Recco in Italy on day 4 leaves open a certain drive for revenge in Saturday's showdown as the Croatian powerhouse, 1 of 3 maybe 4 teams dominating in Europe domestically and beyond the borders, will have to hold up their status of Final Six contender.
Elsewhere in group B favourites Szolnok host Galatasaray while the young Partizan side travels to Budapest taking on OSC in a match between two tied teams in the group standings (6 points apiece). 


Champions League 2015-2016
Preliminary phase

Day 7


Saturday, March 12:

16.15: ZF-Eger (HUN) vs. Jadran Carine Herceg Novi (MNE)
18.30: Szolnoki VSK (HUN) vs. Galatasaray Istanbul (TUR)
19.00: Primorje EB Rijeka (CRO) vs. Wasserfreunde Spandau Berlin (GER)
19.30: Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) vs. CN Atletic-Barceloneta (ESP)
20.30: Jug CO Dubrovnik (CRO) vs. Pro Recco (ITA)
20.30: OSC (HUN) vs. Partizan Raiffeisen Belgrade (SRB)

N.b.: time mentioned is local time.


Current standings

Group A:

1. Olympiacos Piraeus 6 - 12 pts
2. ZF-Eger 6 - 11
3. CN Atletic-Barceloneta 6 - 11
4. Primorje EB Rijeka 6 - 8
5. Wasserfreunde Spandau Berlin 6 - 3
6. Jadran Carine Herceg Novi 6 - 2

Group B:


1. Pro Recco 6 - 15 pts
2. Jug CO Dubrovnik 6 - 15
3. Szolnoki VSK 6 - 12
4. Partizan Raiffeisen Belgrade 6 - 6
5. OSC 6 - 6
6. Galatasaray Istanbul 6 - 0

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