This noon the draw for the Group Phase of the LEN Champions League 2021, led by LEN TWPC Chairman Gianni Lonzi and LEN Operations Manager Marco Birri.
This is how the two groups remain for this edition of the Champions League.
Olimpiacos Pireus (GRE), Pro Recco (ITA), Jug Dubrovnik (CRO), Spandau 04 Berlin (GER), CN Marseille (FRA), A Qualified (qualification round)
FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN), Zodiac CN Atlètic Barceloneta (ESP), Waspo 98 Hannover (GER), Jadran Herceg Novi (MNE), Dinamo Tiblisi (GEO), Qualified B (qualification round)
Due to the current pandemic, the LEN had already reduced the number of participants to the preliminary phase, this year each group will have six teams, four teams will qualify for the Hannover Final Eight (GER).
In addition, the format of the competition has been changed, the matches will be played in three specific events. The new "bubble" format, which currently seems to be the most viable and safe system to allow competitions to take place. Only athletes negative to the test will be able to “enter the bubble”, during the competition they can be alone in the pool or in the hotel, as far as possible from the rest of the world.
At Group A there are three teams that will fight for the first position. The all mighty Pro Recco, trained this year by Gabi Hernández, maintains a group of the highest level and will be played with two teams, the Jug from Dubrovnik and the Olympiacos. The French of the CN Marseille will surely try to qualify for the Final, the same goes for him Berlin Spandau04 which in recent years has been present in the group stage. Important teams could be added to the group from the qualifying round, the Szolnoki Hungarian or Croatian Mladost and from Jadran split appear to be the candidates.
With the presence in group B of Waspo Hannover, host of the Final Eight 2021, there will be only three places left for the grand final. He CN Atlètic Barceloneta and the Ferencvaros they seem like the favorites for the first position in this group. The two clubs continue with high-level squads and clear objectives. He Dynamo Moscow and the recent champion of the Montenegrin cup Jadran Herzeg Novi The remaining places for the Final Eight will be played. From the qualifying round to the preliminary phase the AN Brescia and the Hungarians of the Budapest OSC They could complete the group, although other teams will try to surprise.