The winner of Saturday’s game in Plock will take a big step towards the Last 16 of the VELUX EHF Champions League. Allan Damgaard and Klaus Thomsen look forward to a huge challenge but believe in their chances.
Written by Jonas Løytved
Photo: Ole Mørk, www.midtjysk-foto.dk
Will Bjerringbro-Silkeborg or Wisla Plock take the sixth place in Group A and the spot in the Last 16? We will definitely know more after the thriller in Plock Saturday afternoon when the rivals encounter.
At the moment, Wisla Plock is in hot seat with six point but Bjerringbro-Silkeborg is chasing with four points and the advantage of a 33-24-win at home which will put them on top if they manage to win in Poland.
– It is a highly important game for us. In one way or another, it is now or never for us. If Plock win, they will get the sixth place. Then it will be too difficult for us, said Bjerringbro-Silkeborg-defender Klaus Thomsen.
The home team of Wisla Plock is seen as favourites ahead of the duel. For the polish site, it would be a disaster if they do not proceed from the group stage. On the other hand, Bjerringbro-Silkeborg can only surprise in the role as the underdog, Allan Damgaard thinks.
– I think both teams know how vital this game is.
– When we saw our group, we knew that it would be fantastic for our club and for Danish handball if we could go through from the group. It is no catastrophe if we do not make it but it will be more than a catastrophe for Plock, if they get knock out by a team with a budget of less than one third of their. We hope that we can put them under pressure and make them play individually but we know that we face a huge challenge on away ground, told the playmaker of Bjerringbro-Silkeborg.
Crazy atmosphere in Orlen Arena
In October, Bjerringbro-Silkeborg won the home game against Plock with nine goals but Wisla Plock is a totally different team when they play at home where they have drawn against Veszprem and beaten THW Kiel this season. Klaus Thomsen and Allan Damgaard have experienced to win in Plock. That is four years ago when they both played in the EHF Cup with Team Tvis Holstebro. Therefore, they know what kind of a challenge Bjerringbro-Silkeborg can expect in a sold out Orlen Arena.
– They create an amazing atmosphere in Plock. It is a large arena, which will be sold out, and I think it will be even crazier on Saturday when we are battling for a spot in the Last 16 in the VELUX EHF Champions League, said Damgaard who was the top scorer with six goals in Plock back in 2013.
Both Damgaard and Thomsen look forward to the inferno in Orlen Arena.
– The spectators will put a lot of pressure on us. It is a great home court and we will be challenged. It will be like when we played in Veszprem, just even crazier, but we look forward to it. It will be an amazing game, told Thomsen.
Individuals vs. Collective
Bjerringbro-Silkeborg travels to Poland after two good games in the last seven days. Last weekend they did great despite their defeat in Paris and in the mid-week they smashed the league rivals HC Midtjylland by eight goals. Therefore, the Danes believe in themselves although they know it is a difficult task to win in Plock. Wisla Plock has many great individuals but Bjerringbro-Silkeborg hope their collective is better.
– The Plock-players come from 10 different nations and they play individually. They do not play as tactical as we know in Denmark, said Allan Damgaard and Klaus Thomsen agrees.
– Of cause, it will be difficult to win in Plock but if we can play in the way we have done in the last couple of games, I think we have a good chance. We play more structured than they do. Both in defense and in attack they play by their instincts. That can be both good and bad and we saw in the game in Silkeborg that we can punish that, told the Bjerringbro-Silkeborg defender with reference to the 33-24-win against Plock in October.
– But our win at home does not mean anything on Saturday. We played maybe our best game of the season in the game and they were probably not satisfied with their performance. They will play on a much higher level on Saturday, so even if we can play as well as in the first game, it will be difficuelt.
The thriller in Plock, the battle for the Last 16 spot between Wisla Plock and Bjerringbro-Silkeborg is live at DR1 Denmark and EHFTV.com on Saturday at 16.00.