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Handball Champions League Finals: Will Barcelona Reclaim the Throne or Is Aalborg Poised for Another Upset?

vedran-ostojic
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Last updated: 09 Jun 2024
Vedran Ostojic 09 Jun 2024
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  • Aalborg faces Barcelona in Champions League final
  • Aalborg upset Magdeburg in semi-finals, 28-26
  • Barcelona defeated Kiel 30-18, nearly setting a record
Barcelona is facing Aalborg in the Champions League finals (Getty Images)

Sixteen of the best European teams began this season’s Champions League with hopes of lifting the most prestigious handball trophy. Now, we are down to just two contenders: Aalborg and Barcelona, who will face off in the grand finals this Sunday in Koln. 

Danish champions Aalborg caused a minor upset by eliminating German champions Magdeburg 28-26 in the opening match, while Barcelona nearly set a record for the largest victory in a final four tournament by crushing Kiel 30-18. 

These two European giants will lock horns on Sunday at 16:00 GMT, in a replay of the 2021 finals which the Spanish side won convincingly 36-23. 

How to Deal with Emil Nielsen? 


One of the key things Aalborg will surely discuss prior to the match is how to get past Barcelona’s fantastic goalkeeper, Emil Nielsen, who saved almost 47% of shots in the semi-final! 

In addition to his high save percentage, Nielsen also had two direct assists in the second half against Kiel, setting up Mevlyn Richardson and Blaz Janc. Richardson ended the match as the top scorer with five goals, with Janc slightly behind with four. 





Aalborg Enjoy the Underdog Role 


Aalborg were considered big underdogs going into the semi-final clash against reigning champions Magdeburg. Both sides struggled in the first half, which saw only 20 goals (10-10). 

The winner was decided in the final minute of the match, with the Danes scoring two unanswered goals (28-26) to deny Magdeburg’s hopes of defending the title. Goalkeeper Niklas Landin made three saves in the last ninety seconds of play, while Mad Hoxer topped the scoring charts for Aalborg with eight goals. 

This victory came as a surprise after watching the Danish champions struggle in the quarterfinals. They were defeated in the first leg against Telekom Veszprem 32-31 but then bounced back at home 33-28. 





Our Expert Prediction for Barcelona vs Aalborg 


Barcelona have had an impressive season so far, especially in Spain where they defended the title by winning 29 out of 30 games, with one draw. The Catalan giants were the only team to reach the Champions League Final Four by winning both quarterfinal ties against Paris SG. This squad has the quality and experience needed not only to beat Aalborg but to do so convincingly, as they did in the 2021 finals. 

Verdict

We are backing Barcelona to win with a -3.5 handicap on Sunday! You can bet on this match and watch it live with bet365. 

Best Bet1: Barcelona -3.5 Asian Handicap @9/10 at bet365 - 3 Units
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