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UEFA Futsal Cup elite round guide

April's four finalists will be decided between Wednesday and Sunday when the elite round is played, with holders Ugra Yugorsk and three former winners among the top seeds starting their bids.

Győr are in the tough Group D
Győr are in the tough Group D ©Yevhen Kraws

Holders Ugra Yugorsk and fellow top seeds FC Dynamo, Kairat Almaty and Inter FS begin their UEFA Futsal Cup bids as the elite round runs from Wednesday to Sunday, deciding the four April finalists.

Group A (Thursday to Sunday)
The teams: Kairat Almaty (KAZ, hosts), Nikars Riga (LVA), Real Rieti (ITA), Feniks (KOS)

What to watch out for
Two-time winners Kairat fell in this round last season but have made the last four on six occasions, five of them since the current competition system was introduced in 2006/07. Rieti are debutants like Feniks, the first-ever Kosovan entrants and one of three survivors from the preliminary round.

Watch Ugra win the 2016 final

Group B(Wednesday to Saturday)
The teams: Ugra Yugorsk (RUS, holders), Araz Naxçıvan (AZE), Hamburg Panthers (GER), Nacional Zagreb (CRO, hosts)

What to watch out for
Ugra won this competition on debut last term while Araz took bronze in 2010 and 2014. Preliminary round entrants Hamburg are the first German side to reach this stage.

Group C(Wednesday to Saturday)
The teams: Inter FS (ESP), Ekonomac Kragujevac (SRB), EP Chrudim (CZE), Brezje Maribor (SVN, hosts)

What to watch out for
Inter (defeated 5-0 at the weekend by Spanish leaders Palma) are the competition's only three-time winners. They were beaten in last year's final as hosts, though among their opponents here are two elite-round regulars in Ekonomac (whom Inter beat 5-1 in the 2008/09 elite round en route to their third title) and Chrudim (whom Inter dispatched 5-1 in the following year's elite round). Chrudim, who have got through the main round ten years in a row, have played a record 63 games in this tournament. Brezje, by contrast, are debutants and started in the preliminary round.

Group D(Thursday to Sunday)
The teams: FC Dynamo (RUS), Sporting CP (POR, hosts), Győri ETO (HUN), City'US Târgu Mureş (ROU)

What to watch out for
Dynamo lifted the trophy in 2007 and have appeared in a record six finals. The season they were champions, they secured a 5-0 elite round victory over Sporting, who were runners-up in 2011. That was one of two campaigns in which Sporting beat Târgu Mureş in the elite round; the Portuguese champions also have a pair of wins at this stage against Győr.