Amorim and Omeyer hope for lucky hands at draw
Starting the defence of their EHF Champions League titles, Montpellier Handball and Györi Audi ETO KC will find out this week which teams they are going to face in the first phase of the 2018/19 season.
All eyes in the handball world will be on the Erste Campus in Vienna on Friday at 12.30 hrs local time when the draws for the VELUX EHF Champions League Group Phase as well as the Women’s EHF Champions League Group Matches will be conducted.
The draws will be streamed live on ehfTV.com, the ehfTV YouTube channel and the EHF Champions League Facebook page.
Two former IHF World Handball Players of the year will have a direct impact on the groups' composition as legendary PSG goalkeeper Thierry Omeyer, who won the award in 2008, and the 2014 awardee Eduarda Amorim from the back-to-back defending champions Györ will assist with the draw procedures, which kick off the build-up to another exciting season for Europe’s top flight club competitions.
Same 28-team playing system as last season
The VELUX EHF Champions League will stick to same 28-team playing system as last season, with all 16 teams for Groups A and B and also all 12 sides for Groups C and D confirmed. Therefore no qualification tournament(s) will have to be played.
Defending champions Montpellier and their fellow French rivals HBC Nantes together with the Hungarian runners-up Telekom Vészprem will join German runners-up Rhein-Neckar Löwen and 12 national champions in Groups A and B.
Macedonian side HC Metalurg, Danish team Bjerringbro-Silkeborg as well as Orlen Wisla Plock from Poland will play in Group C or D alongside nine national champions, including Riihimäen Cocks from Finland, the only newcomers to the competition this season.
In total, there will be six former winners of the EHF Champions League (Vardar, Barcelona, Flensburg, Celje, Montpellier and Kielce), when the group phase of the new season will throw off on 12-16 September.
16 teams to be drawn into four group
In the Women’s EHF Champions League, 14 directly seeded teams plus two qualification groups’ winners will be divided into four pots of four teams. Teams cannot face an opponent from the same country in their group.
Györ are seeded in the first pot, together with two other participants of the Women’s EHF FINAL4 2018, Rostov-Don and CSM Bucuresti, as well as Buducnost.
There will also be an open draw for the second pot with Metz Handball, København Handball, Vipers Kristiansand and Thüringer HC.
In the third pot, FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria and Odense HC cannot get into the same group as their domestic rivals from Györ and København; only then the remaining two teams Krim Mercator and Sävehof will be drawn.
To apply the country protection rule in the last pot there will be no draw, but the four teams - including the two sides that will advance from the qualification tournaments on 7-9 September - will be allocated always to the first possible group from left to right.