20210106 Portugal Vs Iceland 2000Px
EHF EURO

Portugal, Germany can book EHF EURO 2022 tickets

EHF / Björn Pazen

Update 9 January, 11:00: Updates the preview for Spain vs Croatia in the EHF EURO Cup, as the match has been postponed due to the airport closure in Madrid because of severe weather conditions.

Nine matches in five groups of the EHF EURO 2022 Qualifiers from Friday through Wednesday plus another rematch of the EHF EURO 2020 final between Spain and Croatia in the EHF EURO Cup on Saturday: those are the ingredients of an intense men’s handball schedule.

Most matches are the reverse fixtures from round 3 games played earlier this week, when Italy won clearly against Latvia and Serbia upset France.

Germany (hosting Austria) and Portugal (visiting Iceland) can become the first two teams to earn a ticket for the Men’s EHF EURO 2022, and join co-hosts Hungary and Slovakia as well as automatically qualified Spain and Croatia.

All updates on the playing schedule can be found here.

GROUP 1

France vs Serbia
Saturday 9 January, 19:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • the 27:24 on Wednesday was Serbia’s first victory against France since the Sydney Olympics in 2000
  • key players in the victorious debut of head coach Toni Gerona were goalkeeper Dejan Milosavljev and top scorers Mijajlo Marsenic and Lazar Kukic (six goals each)
  • “We have to strengthen our defence if we want to win,” said new France head coach, Guillaume Gille
  • France left back Elohim Prandi will miss the match, and the World Championship, due to a shoulder injury; he has been replaced by Nimes player Jean-Jacques Acquevillo
  • France earlier lost Nikola Karabatic (knee injury) on this position

Serbia v Greece
Wednesday 13 January, 17:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • the sides meet for the first time in an official match
  • Greece beat North Macedonia and tied with Iceland but lost all other matches, also against neighbours Turkey, in the EHF EURO 2020 Qualifiers
  • Serbia have played at EHF EUROs six times, Greece never
  • Serbia failed to qualify for this month’s World Championship after losing all three preliminary round matches at EHF EURO 2020

GROUP 2

Bosnia and Herzegovina vs Estonia
Sunday 10 January, 20:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Estonia’s 24:21 home win Wednesday was their first win in a final EHF EURO Qualifiers phase since 2011 - when they also beat Bosnia and Herzegovina (23:21)
  • those were the first points for Estonia in the qualifiers after two defeats
  • Kaspar Lees and Karl Toom each scored eight times, equalling two-third of Estonia’s total production in that match of 24 goals
  • Bosnia lost two home matches in the EHF EURO 2020 Qualifiers - against Belarus and Czech Republic
  • this will be their 12th duel: Bosnia won five times, Estonia four, and they had two draws

Germany vs Austria
Sunday 10 January 18:10 CET, live on EHFTV

  • having won their first three matches, Germany can book their ticket for the finals tournament with another win Sunday
  • the midweek 36:27 win in Austria was Germany’s 17th straight victory in an EHF EURO Qualifier since May 2015
  • Germany are still without nine regulars, including freshly crowned EHF Champions League winners Hendrik Pekeler, Steffen Weinhold and Patrick Wiencek
  • Austria are without key back court players Nikola Bilyk and Janko Bozovic
  • Germany’s Marcel Schiller scored a career best 11 goals for the national team in the first match against Austria
  • Germany have won 30 of the 35 matches against Austria since 1925

GROUP 4

Iceland v Portugal
Sunday 10 January, 17:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • this is their second of three matches in a week's time, as Iceland and Portugal will also meet in their World Championship opener in Egypt on Thursday (14 January)
  • Portugal won the home game, 26:24, earlier this week, when Pedro Portela netted seven times and Alfredo Quintana had 10 crucial saves
  • Portugal can book their trip to Hungary and Slovakia if they beat Iceland again
  • Portugal lead Iceland in their head-to-head 5-3 after eight duels

GROUP 5

Poland v Turkey
Saturday 9 January, 20:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • despite nine goals from Doruk Pehlivan, Turkey lost the home game against Poland 29:24 on Wednesday
  • Poland have won four of five previous matches against Turkey
  • Turkey are after their first point, while Poland are on two and could make a huge step towards qualifying with another win
  • Turkey are yet to qualify for a finals tournament; Poland hosted the 2016 edition but missed EHF EURO 2018 and finished only in 21st position last year

Slovenia vs Netherlands
Sunday 10 January, 20:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Slovenia won in Netherlands 34:23 on Wednesday, recovering from a 15:14 half-time deficit
  • both sides are on two points; the Dutch earlier beat Turkey (27:26)
  • Barça left-handed stars Jure Dolenec and Blaz Janc both scored seven times in the reverse fixture
  • the sides also met in the EHF EURO 2020 Qualifiers, with Slovenia winning both duels: 27:26 away and 30:23 at home
  • Slovenia have won their last four home qualifiers since a 32:23 defeat against Germany in 2017

GROUP 6

Norway vs Belarus
Friday 8 January, 18:15 CET, live on EHFTV

  • the 33:25 in the reverse fixture marked the first ever win for Belarus over Norway
  • Norway played in Minsk without many regulars, including star Sander Sagosen, as the A team is preparing for the World Championship
  • Belarus will also take part at the World Championship in Egypt
  • EHF Champions League players Uladzislau Kulesh (six goals) and Mikita Vailupau (five) were Belarus’ top scorers in the reverse fixture
  • the teams also met at EHF EURO 2016 and 2018, and Norway won twice

Latvia vs Italy
Sunday 10 January, 14:10 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Italy winning Thursday’s home game against Latvia by 11 goals was arguably the biggest upset of the qualifiers so far
  • goalkeeper Domenico Ebner became Italy’s hero with an astonishing save rate of 54% (21 shots)
  • Latvia had won their only previous duel until this week, 36:32 in 2010
  • Latvia had their EHF EURO debut in 2020; Italy's sole participation came in 1998, when they hosted the finals tournament
  • Italy had lost their opener in November against Norway, 39:25

EHF EURO Cup

Spain vs Croatia
Saturday 9 January, 20:00 CET

  • This match has been postponed as the airport in Madrid closed down on Saturday because on severe weather conditions in Spain. This made it impossible for the team of Croatia to travel.

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