Antalya and Elche to host exciting semi-finals
Only four teams stay in the fight for the EHF European Cup Women, and the first-leg matches of the semi-finals will be played this week.
On Saturday, Turkish team Antalya Konyaalti BSK will host their Slovak rivals MKS IUVENTA Michalovce in Antalya, and on Sunday, Elche will be the venue for the all-Spanish tie between ATTICGO BM ELCHE and Club Atletico Balonman Guardes.
- in the quarter-final, which was delayed due to the devastating earthquake in Türkiye, Antalya proved too strong for Izmir BSB SK, winning 75:61 on aggregate
- Michalovce eliminated two Polish teams in the previous stages of the competition, as they defeated KPR Gminy Kobierzyce in the quarter-final and Eurobud JKS Jaroslaw in the semi-final
- for Elche, it will be the second straight Spanish derby in the tournament after they beat Motive.co Gijon in the quarter-final, 49:40 on aggregate
- Atletico Guardes reached the semi-finals of the EHF European Cup Women in 2020/21, eventually losing to another Spanish team, Rincon Fertilidad Malaga
- in the same competition in 2021/22, Elche lost to Rocasa Gran Canaria in the quarter-final, but now they have already gone one better
One Spanish side certain to reach the final
Spanish teams have been dominant in the women's third-tier European club competition in recent seasons, as Gran Canaria won it in 2019 and 2022, and Malaga in 2021.
Neither club is among the contenders this season, but one Spanish side is certain to reach the final, as Elche and Atletico Guardes meet in the semi-final.
Elche have won both their encounters in the Spanish league this season in a close fight, 24:21 at home and 24:23 away. They are fifth-placed in the league with 21 points, while Atletico sit sixth with 19 points, so a tight battle can be expected in this semi-final tie.