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Lazarov facing his brother. PHOTO: ARXIU-IHF

Immediately after they went down 30-29 to HSV Hamburg in the final of the 2012/13 Champions League Final, the coaching staff and the players at the Club made their determination to make this year’s final clear. Today, at 18.15, they begin the road to the Final Four in Cologne with a game in Skopje against HC Vardar.

Good Form going into the game

FC Barcelona go into the game in very good form, having won both their opening games against Conca and Aranda de Duero in the Lliga Asobal and showed the speed and concentration needed to succeed again over the long season ahead.

Pascual has taken all 16 players for the game in Skopje, with the whole squad fit for the trip.

This will be the fifth time that Barça’s handball team have visited Skopje, having faced Vardar three times and also played Metalurg – who are again in Group C of this season’s Champions League – and won every game. Indeed in all eight games Barça have played against Macedonian teams, they have come out on top.

Strengthened team

Vardar Skopje return to the Champions League after a three year break and are back in the competition as Macedonian league champions.

With a team full of new faces, Vardar Skopje under new coach Zoran Kastratovic are looking to stake a claim as part of the European elite. Alex Dusjhebaev and keeper Iñaki Malumbres have strengthened the team, alongside Txipurin, Rastvortsev and Dibirov -three players from the Russian team Txehovskie.

The Macedonian captain is Filip Lazarov, the brother of FC Barcelona’s Kiril Lazarov and he will be leading a side determined to fight their way through to the knock out rounds that lead to the Final Four in Cologne.


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