14/01/2020

Crunch time for two hosts

GROUPS B, D & F PREVIEW: Nothing is decided in Groups B and F after two rounds, while over in Group D, Norway meet Portugal to find out who will start the main round with two points

A win for Sweden against Poland would see them through to the main round. Photo © Nebojsa Tejic / kolektiff

This is crunch time for the three groups, as little has been decided after two rounds.

In groups B and F, any team can progress to the main round and any team can be eliminated, despite Austria and Slovenia leading the rankings with two wins in two games.

Hosts Sweden and Austria will be hoping to start the main round with two points, but only Austria have their fate in their own hands. After their loss against Slovenia on Sunday, Sweden hope to bounce back against Poland.

In group D, both tickets for the main round have already been decided. Triple EHF EURO winners France and newcomers Bosnia and Herzegovina are already out of the competition, while Norway and Portugal will progress to the main round.

The teams will face each other in the last game played at the Trondheim Spektrum, to decide who travels to Malmö with two points.

GROUP B

Austria vs North Macedonia
Tuesday 14 January, 18:15 CET, live on ehfTV.com

  • a draw for Austria guarantees the co-hosts a place in the main round
  • North Macedonia will qualify if they win by at least two goals; Danilo Brestovac’s side can also go through if they avoid defeat and Ukraine beat the Czech Republic
  • this will be the fifth meeting between the two, with North Macedonia leading 3-1 in the head-to-head meetings; they met at EHF EURO 2014 where North Macedonia won 22:21
  • Austria’s Nikola Bilyk and Macedonia’s Kiril Lazarov are among the top scorers at the tournament so far with 21 and 19 goals respectively
  • Lazarov has now scored 179 goals in his EHF EURO career, with his 11 goals against the Czech Republic, moving him into the top-10 all-time EHF EURO scorers list

Ukraine vs Czech Republic
Tuesday 14 January, 20:30 CET, live on ehftv.com

  • the Czech Republic will qualify for the main draw with a win, but can still qualify even if they lose by more than one goal and Austria beat North Macedonia
  • Ukraine need to win to make it through – but also need Austria to beat North Macedonia by at least two goals
  • this will be the fourth meeting between the two nations, with the Czechs leading the head-to-head record with two wins to Ukraine’s one
  • Ukraine have lost their last 10 EHF EURO matches and have not won a match in the competition since 2006
  • Czech goalkeeper Martin Galia saved 14 out of 37 shots to inspire his team to victory against North Macedonia (38 per cent efficiency), compared to just two shots saved from 18 (11 per cent) against Austria

GROUP D

Bosnia and Herzegovina vs France
Tuesday 14 January, 18:15 CET, live on ehfTV.com

  • both teams are already out of the tournament
  • this is the first time since 1978 that France have not reached the main round or the knock-out phase of any international competition
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina are still looking for their first-ever win in an EHF EURO
  • the top scorers for both teams have both netted 12 times; Ludovic Fabregas for France and Nikola Prce for Bosnia and Herzegovina

Portugal vs Norway
Tuesday 14 January, 20:30 CET, live on ehfTV.com

  • Portugal and Norway are already through to the main round but the winner of this game will take two points to Malmö
  • this is the first time since 2002 Portugal have reached the main round of an EHF EURO
  • the teams have played each other five times in history, with the last occasion at the EHF EURO 2006; Portugal have three wins, Norway two
  • Norway’s Sander Sagosen is the best scorer of the competition after two rounds, with 22 goals
  • Portugal’s Pedro Portela has netted 13 times, including 10 against Bosnia and Herzegovina

GROUP F

Switzerland vs Slovenia
Tuesday, 14 January, 18:15 CET, live on ehfTV.com

  • Slovenia finished the preliminary round with a flawless record only once, at EHF EURO 2006, but they lost all games in the main round, finishing eighth
  • Switzerland have never progressed from the preliminary round in their three appearances at the EHF EURO, but will earn a main round berth with a win
  • Swiss centre back Andre Schmid scored 15 goals against Poland last game and is joint third in the top goal scorer standings, with 19 goals during the EHF EURO 2020
  • Switzerland won only one game from their eight played against Slovenia in history, and the Slovenian side is undefeated in two games against Switzerland at the EHF EURO

Poland vs Sweden
Tuesday, 14 January, 20:30 CET, live on ehfTV.com

  • with a loss on Tuesday, Sweden would be out of contention for a main round berth, for only the second time ever, after being eliminated after the preliminary round at the EHF EURO 2010
  • Swedish goalkeeper Andreas Palicka leads the standings in saving percentage at the EHF EURO 2020, stopping 21 shots from the 42 he faced, with a 50 per cent efficiency
  • Poland’s Arkadiusz Moryto is his side’s top scorer of the tournament so far, with 11 goals netted from 15 shots
  • no Swedish players have scored more than nine goals so far; Kim Ekdahl du Rietz and Andreas Nilsson are both at this level
  • the two sides have met 25 times, with Sweden taking 11 wins, while Poland won 10 games; at the EHF EURO, Poland have three wins out of five games, with Sweden winning only once
written by ehf-euro.com