June 29, 2018 handball Champions league draw took place in Vienna. As a result 4 last winners of CL will play in Group A. But before we procced to draw results let spend some minutes to clarify tournament system because it is unusual for example for football fans.
At group stage teams are divided into 4 groups. Both groups A and B consists of 8 most powerful European teams. 12 other teams began tournament in groups C and D (6 in each). EHF decided to do so in order to increase attractiveness of games at a group stage. Six best teams from A and B groups will continue their tournament way in play-off (group winners will go to quarterfinals, others – to 1/8 finals). Two best teams from C and D groups will have their local play-off and two winners will take part in last 16. More details about tournament scheme you can find at the picture:
And now let’s go back to the draw. As it was mentioned 4 CL winners will meet each other in Group A. Thea are French Montpellier (winner of 2017/2018), Macedonian Vardar (2016/2017), Polish Vive (2015/2016) and Spanish Barcelona (2014/2015). Two other winners will play in Group B – Flensburg (Germany, 2013/2014) and Celje (Slovenia, 2003/2004). Strong PSG is also among group B participants.
Last tournaments showed that EHF idea to gather strongest teams in first two groups really works because number of exciting games increased at group stage. And I hope that this tournament in will be the same or even better than previous. Is it truth or not we will recognize very soon – Cl will start at September 12.