In Berlin, Magdeburg, Hamburg – the first three away tasks of the season are tough for HSG Wetzlar. Thursday it goes to the SCM.
In almost each of the previous Bundesliga seasons, HSG Wetzlar has achieved extraordinary things, broken records, ended series and developed national players. With the well-deserved 27:25 (14:12) success over TBV Lemgo Lippe for the double home premiere – that of the 2021/22 season and that of new coach Benjamin Matschke – this was again successful. While in the second home game of the previous season it was the still unbelievable 31:22 dismantling of record champions THW Kiel in the Rittal Arena, last Sunday after exactly five years the feared opponent from East Westphalia was finally defeated again.
The HSG Wetzlar had some fearful opponents in the upper house in the past 23 seasons. Especially away from home. For a long time these included Frisch Auf Göppingen or Füchse Berlin – including SC Magdeburg. And in the Elbe cities, the green-whites have to compete again tomorrow, Thursday (7:05 p.m., live on Sky). Philipp Müller, Michael Müller and Co. were able to end the away curse in the state capital of Saxony Anhalt in October 2012 with a 26:24. Then as now it was and still is true: Magdeburg is a favorite, Wetzlar an outsider. The SCM is even more a real colossus than it was back then.
Looking back on Sunday: “We got on the road to success with a lot of stopping fouls and active defense,” said Wetzlar’s coach Matschke after Monday’s game analysis, “and thus forced Lemgo into unprepared nine-meter throws.” Magnus Fredriksen had cleverly pulled the strings in the attack Completion from the back room was more consistent than in the defeat in Berlin. Also strong are the wing tongs Emil Mellegard and Lars Weissgerber, which is why their backups were consistently left on the bank. Matschke: “I actually like to have all players with a pulse in the dressing room, but Emil and Lars were so good and in rhythm that I didn’t want to disturb them.”
With the 28:25 coup at the Rhein-Neckar Löwen in the top duel, coach Bennet Wiegert and his SC Magdeburg set an exclamation point in the fight for the Champions League places. With speed handball that was worth seeing before the break and a strong performance in the second section as well as mental strength under stress (22:21, 50th), the success in the SAP Arena was a clear signal to the north.
The staff: “Everyone got through healthy,” said Benjamin Matschke with a full squad in the GETEC-Arena. “During the training session we were able to do another intensive athletic unit, even if we came late from Berlin and had one day less to regenerate than Lemgo.”
At SCM, Coach Wiegert still has to do without convalescents Matthias Musche and Gisli Kristjansson and, due to the departure of Zeljko Musa, work on a new inner block with the seeded Piotr Chrapkowski, but the team 2021/22 should be more playful than that of the third in the table last two seasons. Thanks to the returnee Philipp Weber, who was once the top scorer in the Bundesliga in the Wetzlar jersey; thanks to Omar Ingi Magnusson, who got off to a good start in his second season on the Börde; thanks to the Dane Magnus Saugstrup, who decidedly improves the circulation possibilities. And you don’t have to say a lot about the counter-attack strength of the Magdeburg team, as Lukas Mertens and Tim Hornke underlined at the Rhein-Neckar Löwen.
Outlook: “Our pace game is even more determined, the pace can also be increased,” says Benjamin Matschke, sharpening his eyes on his own team. “We are in a phase of the season in which we largely still have to look at ourselves and our fine-tuning,” he still pays full attention to the foundation for the current season, “we have to bring our strengths through and force Magdeburg to make bad decisions.”
Matschke strives for “intelligent handball”, in defense and attack, “with the greatest possible variability.” In attack, where Magnus Fredriksen is the head; in defense, in which changes have to be made permanently during a game. “Going into a game with a cover variant and saying that I can get away with it for 60 minutes is no longer enough in the Bundesliga today.”
Like against TBV Lemgo Lippe, when “Ben” Matschke switched his defense four times (!) In the first 24 minutes until the required stability was achieved. Also in the district there is no Jannik Kohlbacher on the ground or an Anton Lindskog in the air. “Adam Nyfjäll is a completely different player, sets the bans differently. A completely different adaptation is necessary for the other players. “
The opponent: “In Magdeburg we have to stop the SCM’s speed game and allow as little as possible to cross the counter-attack. In a bound attack, on the other hand, the SCM plays with a clear structure and high quality and an outstanding staffing. «That will be a colossal challenge.