Cup winner THW Kiel against champions SC Magdeburg - the prestigious Supercup forms the overture to the expected title duel between the two top clubs in the Handball Bundesliga.
With a win on Wednesday (7 p.m. / Sky) in Düsseldorf, the record champions from Kiel want to start the hunt for the current champion. "The ten-month showdown begins in Düsseldorf, the cards have been reshuffled. You have to come on a wave to be successful. We can start with a good performance," said THW trainer Filip Jicha before the duel for the first season Title.
But Magdeburg is also hot for a win. "It's very important to us. In general, the Supercup is sometimes neglected in other sports. But I see it differently: it's a title for us! And that's why we want to be successful right away," said SCM trainer Bennet Wiegert in an interview with the newspapers of the "Funke Mediengruppe" (Tuesday).
THW hottest title contender
Immediately before the start of the Bundesliga, the showdown will give both teams a first assessment of where they stand and a foretaste of the title fight. THW is considered the hottest contender for the championship, although Kiel will have to do without the injured stars Hendrik Pekeler and Sander Sagosen for a few more months.
In a survey conducted by the German Press Agency, eight coaches or officials among the 18 first division clubs committed themselves to the German record champions. "Of course, all the prerequisites always speak in favor of the THW. The people of Kiel have the best squad, the best budget, the most spectators," said Stefan Kretzschmar, sports director at Füchse Berlin. "You are the measure of all things and are the only ones who can declare ambition out of conviction."
Wiegert likes the role of the hunted
The new role and perception is not a problem. "I always wanted SC Magdeburg to be the hunted. That's also an award for past performances," emphasized Wiegert. Three club officials - and ex-national coach Heiner Brand - believe in a successful title defense of his team. "I don't see it as a flash in the pan, as smart as the team is put together. There will be more pressure, but the guys in the team fit together well. I would put my money on Magdeburg," said Brand of the German Press Agency.
The SG Flensburg-Handewitt and the foxes Berlin were named as further master candidates. Several coaches like Kiels Jicha expect an exciting four-way battle between the top quartet of the previous season. He sees his team well prepared for this. "If someone writes us off, that's a mistake," said Jicha.
The title fight is accompanied by new worries. While the clubs were heavily burdened by the corona pandemic for the last two years, the energy crisis is now also coming along. "You can already feel the increased costs. We had to correct our budget in some areas, especially the travel budget," reported Kiel's managing director Viktor Szilagyi.
According to managing director Sebastian Frecke, HSV Hamburg has "set aside a low six-digit amount for higher energy costs". Frecke even fears the closure of halls, which could endanger the game. "We have already been informed by the city that in the event of an energy crisis, the large arenas will first be disconnected from the power supply. That would be the worst-case scenario," he told the specialist magazine "Handballwoche".
HBL Managing Director Frank Bohmann doesn't expect that at the moment, but he also promises the clubs a hard winter: "The clubs of all professional sports have to calculate with significantly higher energy costs."
Schedule Handball Bundesliga