In the Handball Bundesliga, HSG Wetzlar hardly has time to process the annoying defeat against Berlin. Because tonight, HC Erlangen is a guest at the Green-Whites.
The 28:30 defeat against Füchse Berlin in the Handball Bundesliga caused disappointment and hanging heads at HSG Wetzlar after the final whistle. Because for long stretches of the encounter, the Mittelhessen delivered a strong game, but did not consistently use their good chances in front of the guest goal.
But coach Benjamin Matschke’s team didn’t have much time for frustration, because the next home game in the Buderus Arena is already scheduled for tonight (start at 7:05 p.m., tickets are still available). Then the opponent is HC Erlangen, against whom the Wetzlar boys still have a score to settle. Because the 19:31 defeat from the DHB Cup in December is far from forgotten.
Matschke’s brief analysis of the Berlin game: “That was just really annoying against Berlin. Without wanting to offend Berlin: I think we were responsible for not scoring and that we came very, very close to beating a top club after the Magdeburg and Kiel games. That’s why the disappointment was great when your own expectations are very high. The defeat really bothered me. But then we did the video analysis, the guys are always very self-critical there. It’s great how we treat each other, how the communication takes place.«
The initial situation: Qualifying for the Europa League is still possible for HSG Wetzlar. Currently in sixth place in the table, the Domstadt team with 31:27 points have two plus points fewer than fifth-placed Göppingen, who also have one game less than HSG. Today’s opponent from Erlangen is currently in no man’s land in the table and has 23:35 points in twelfth place.
This is how HC Erlangen is to be assessed: The fact that the Middle Franconia should not be underestimated shows not only the clear Wetzlar DHB Cup defeat against HC, but also the last games of Erlangen. After three defeats in a row in March, the form curve is now pointing steeply upwards again. First there were victories against Bergischer HC, MT Melsungen and TBV Lemgo Lippe, before coach Raúl Alonso’s team, who has been on the sidelines of the club since the second half of the season, narrowly met SC Magdeburg in front of their home crowd last weekend 36:38 had to admit defeat. However, Erlangen have only won three out of 14 games away from home in the league this season. The most dangerous players at HC are the backcourt players Simon Jeppsson and Christoph Steinert with 154 and 108 goals respectively. In addition, Jeppsson has already distributed 120 assists (second best league value). In addition, the guests lead the league statistics for counterattack goals with 112.
The staff: In addition to the long-term injured Anadin Suljakovic, Patrick Gempp and Alexander Feld, Benjamin Matschke can draw on his entire squad. Goalkeeper Klemen Ferlin will return to HC after a gastrointestinal infection. Sebastian Firnhaber (foot injury) and Hampus Olsson (muscle problems) are questionable. With Steffen Fäth, a familiar face will return to Wetzlar. The 32-year-old wore the Green and White jersey from 2010 to 2016.
This is what HSG coach Benjamin Matschke says about today’s opponent HC Erlangen: “A lot has changed at HC Erlangen as a result of the change of coach, in the way they play, in the way they defend, how they attack, how they counterattack. They are currently playing very stable and very well, have a broad squad and everyone is fit. Jeppsson is strong anyway, pivots and wingers like Bissel and Sellin have played very well now. Metzner feels like the most dangerous goal and Fäth directs the whole thing. Overall, it’s an extremely good team. But: We want to win the home game.«