Ruling champion vs. 2011 winner
January 27, 2017
By Peter Bruun
As a new feature on stregspiller.com, we are taking a closer look ahead of selected games of the Champions League.
We start with the opening match in Group 1 of the women´s main round between the ruling Champions League sovereign and the winner of 2011.
CSM Bucuresti vs Larvik – Friday 27. January 19.30 local time (18.30 CET)
Larvik starts the main round in third position, sitting on four points from their group matches, while CSM share last position with Danish Champions League debutants Team Esbjerg, both two points.
Let’s look at some of the aspects that may decide the match.
Key Players – Part 1: Riegelhuth vs. Martin
The performance between the two right wings – current Champions League top scorer Linn-Kristin Riegelhuth Koren (Larvik) and perhaps the best ring-wing in the world, Spanish Carmen Martin (CSM) – will have a major impact on the outcome of the game.
Even though, Riegelhuth leads all scorers with 47 goals, it looks as if Martin has the edge, not the least because of enjoying home court advantage.
Keyplayers – Part 2: The Goalkeepers
CSM also appears to have an advantage on the goalkeeper position, where two world-class keepers – Paula Ungureanu and Jelena Grubisic – will show their skills. Larvik, in turn will depend heavily on Sandra Toft.
However, it needs to be mentioned, how brilliant Toft did for Denmark at the European championship in Sweden last month. If she can repeat her performance from back then, CSM won’t have the edge.
There has been plenty of turbulence involving the coaching position at CSM, where current head coach Aurelian Rosca is the fourth coach within the past 18 months.
This is in stark contrast to the continuity on Larvik’s bench, where Tor Odvar Moen is not only in his third consecutive season as head coach, but also enjoying his 20th season at the club.
Turnover vs. steadiness, the two teams will give the answer on the court.
CSM’s defense will be well advised to keep a thorough eye on Larvik´s right-back, Amanda Kurtovic.
She was on fire in Larvik´s league match against Oppsal, on Sunday.
No less than 19 goals did the 25-year-old Norwegian international (and possible future Vipers Kristiansand player) score in Larvik’s 39:22 victory.
Another Dane at CSM
There have been several Danes at CSM already – on the bench and in the squad as well.
The most recent arrival from the Scandinavian country is right-wing Simon Böhme (formerViborg HK) who has been signed as a replacement for injured veteran, Cristina Varzaru.
Böhme made a promising debut during the week, scoring three goals, when CSM defated Zalau, 30:18.
Apart from Varzaru, CSM is also missing right-back Line Jørgensen.
The injury situation is worse at Larvik, however. Left-wing Sanna Solberg, playmaker Karolin Dyhre Breivang and left back Alina Wojtas are certain to miss the match in Bucharest.
CSM has the edge, hands down.
They not only have the benefit of home court advantage, they also have a stronger and deeper squad. I rate the chances 65:35 in favor of CSM