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Füchse Berlin travel to the top match in Flensburg with respect

Sports director Stefan Kretzschmar of the handball Bundesliga club Füchse Berlin / Photo: Ronny Hartmann/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa/Archivbild
Sports director Stefan Kretzschmar of the handball Bundesliga club Füchse Berlin / Photo: Ronny Hartmann/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa/Archivbild

Füchse Berlin face SG Flensburg-Handewitt in the top match of the German Handball League. They go into the game as league leaders with respect and understatement.

The Füchse Berlin travel to SG Flensburg-Handewitt (3 p.m./Dyn) on Sunday for the top game in the German Handball League with a lot of respect and understatement. "We're going there with confidence, but we don't necessarily see ourselves as the favorites. And I hope that we can handle this role quite well," said Head of Sport Stefan Kretzschmar on Friday. Berlin go into the clash at the top of the table, while Flensburg are in third place and in direct pursuit.

That's why both sides are calling the game a small final match for the Champions League places. "If we were to win in Flensburg, that would be a huge step, because it's undoubtedly a four-point game for the Champions League places," said Kretzschmar. "We're aware that they understand that just as much as we do."

The Foxes won the first leg somewhat fortunately 32:31 just two-and-a-half weeks ago. "They'll certainly be keen for revenge," said captain Paul Drux. Kretzschmar also expects the North Germans to be furious. "But that's okay, emotions are part of the game." The Berliners are therefore warned, especially as Flensburg have yet to lose a game at home this season.

The surprising European League defeat against Sporting Lisbon on Tuesday also hurt. "That was a bit of a damper, of course. But if we don't come to Flensburg with a broad chest and self-confidence, then we'll go down there," said Drux.

After the European Championship break, the Foxes are still struggling to perform for the full sixty minutes. Particularly towards the end, they often ran out of steam. "It's part of the truth that we often lose our defensive stability and often have to wear ourselves out more up front as a result. But of course our top players are under a lot of pressure and the European Championship has contributed to that," said coach Jaron Siewert.

For Kretzschmar, this is mainly due to the small squad. Nevertheless, he is satisfied. "For what we have at our disposal, we are actually one of the few teams that makes the most of their opportunities," he said. Nevertheless, alternatives are welcome. It could help that backcourt player Matthes Langhoff is about to make his comeback from injury against Flensburg.

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