The very best of women’s water polo is in sight this Saturday when eight teams – two from Greece, Spain and Italy apiece, one from Russia and Hungary – are targeting to make the Final Four.
Winner of the last two editions Kinef kicks off the quarter-final day and the Russians are still the favourites, however, Voulagmeni is keen to return to the finals for the first time after five years (the Greeks clinched the title in 2009 and 2010).
Newcomer Sant Andreu (ESP) has to take on 2015 champion Olympiacos. After three straight appearances in the F4, the other Greek side missed the cut last season (then lost the LEN Trophy final) and they seem to be a strong contender again.
The big game of the day features 8-time winner Orizzonte (ITA) and 4-time champion Sabadell. In recent years, the Spaniards were the team to beat (they reached the final 6 times in the last 8 editions) but now they face a tough test already in the quarters where two teams from last year’s F4 clash. Orizzonte, being absent from the big stage for three years, came back strong last season but overcoming Sabadell is perhaps the toughest challenge of all.
It seems that UVSE (HUN) and Padova (ITA) should meet in each year when something big is at stake. Two years ago they played for the LEN Trophy and the Hungarians won by one goal – last year they met in the same phase, they played a 7-7 tie in Budapest then the Magyar champion won in Padova 6-8 but had to settle for the fourth place later in the F4. It’s going to be another thriller in two acts, for sure.
The winners of the quarters shall proceed to the Final Four while the losing sides will play for the LEN Trophy.
Euro League, Quarter-finals, 1st leg
13.00 Kinef Surgutneftegas Kirishi (RUS) v NC Vouliagmeni (GRE)
16.45 CN Sant Andreu (ESP) v Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE)
18.00 Ekipe Orizzonte (ITA) v Astralpool Sabadell (ESP)
20.00 UVSE-Budapest Hunguest Hotels (HUN) v Plebiscito Padova (ITA)
For play-by-play descriptions, detailed statistics visit www.len.eu