Sweden - Romania
EHF EURO

World Championship finalists hunt points as qualifiers resume

EHF / Courtney Gahan

The Men’s EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers continue with nine matches set to be played mid-week, from Tuesday to Thursday.

Among the headliners are newly crowned world champions Denmark, World Championship runners-up Sweden, and a new but very recognisable coach for North Macedonia: Kiril Lazarov.

In the EHF EURO Cup, Slovakia play their first game in the competition as they meet EHF EURO title holders Spain.

GROUP 3

Ukraine vs Faroe Islands
Wednesday 10 March, 16:30 CET, live on EHFTV

  • this will be Faroe Islands’ first match in the EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers, while Ukraine have played twice and earned one point
  • Ukraine’s two games were in a double-header against Russia — they drew 27:27 in the first clash then recorded a 30:28 loss
  • Faroe Islands have never reached the final EHF EURO tournament. Ukraine ended a 10-year wait to participate again in 2020
  • Ukraine won all three previous encounters against Faroe Islands. The teams also met in the previous EHF EURO qualifiers stage
  • despite having just one point, Ukraine are currently second on the table due to the postponement of several matches in this group

Russia vs Czech Republic
Wednesday 10 March, 17:30 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Russia enter the game as group leaders, with three points, while Czech Republic have yet to play a game in the EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers
  • Russia took all three of their points against Ukraine, having played one draw and earned one win in their double-header played in November
  • the last encounters between the sides were in 2018 in the World Championship qualification play-off, with Russia coming out on top
  • the teams have met a total of 12 times before and the balance is overwhelmingly in favour of Russia, with 10 wins

GROUP 4

Israel vs Iceland*
Thursday 11 March, 16:30 CET, live on EHFTV

  • with three matches played and four points earned, Iceland are in a strong position, sitting second in the group behind Portugal
  • Israel have played just one match in the EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers so far, in which they were defeated 31:22 by Portugal
  • while Israel have reached the final tournament only once, in 2002, Iceland have qualified for every EHF EURO since 2000
  • Israel have not beaten Iceland since 1981. Iceland have won three of the four encounters since then (the other saw a draw), with the latest played in 2015

*Match is postponed

GROUP 5

Slovenia vs Poland
Tuesday 9 March, 20:10 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Poland are the group leaders, with four points, while Slovenia have three and are equal on points with the Netherlands
  • Slovenia played the Netherlands in both EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers games so far, winning the first 34:23 before a 27:27 draw in the second
  • Poland beat Turkey twice to earn their four points — 29:24 in the first clash and 35:24 in the second
  • it is the 10th official match between the sides. Slovenia have won five times, including in the EHF EURO 2020 group phase. Poland won three games and there was one draw
  • Slovenia are without backs Nik Henigman and Borut Mackovsek, who both have ankle injuries

GROUP 6

Belarus vs Italy
Wednesday 10 March, 16:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • both teams count two points collected so far in the qualifiers, although Belarus have played two games to Italy’s three
  • Belarus played a double-header against Norway, winning the first match 33:25 before a 27:19 defeat
  • Italy lost decisively to Norway in November, 39:24, before recording one victory and one loss in a double-header against Latvia
  • the teams have not met in an official match since 2005, with the historical balance quite equal — three wins for Belarus, two for Italy and one draw
  • Belarus’ record for fewest goals scored by an opponent in a EURO qualifier match was set against Italy, with the result of 27:11 back in 2001

GROUP 7

Finland vs Switzerland
Thursday 11 March, 17:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • neither Finland nor Switzerland have collected any points in the EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers. Both lost one game apiece against Denmark and North Macedonia
  • in January, Switzerland made a surprise return to the World Championship after last contesting the event in 1995 — the team did not qualify but replaced the USA
  • Andy Schmid was among the top scorers at the World Championship, with 44 goals in six games — fewer matches than any of those ranked above him. He netted 16 times in Switzerland’s two EHF EURO qualifiers
  • it is the first official match between Finland and Switzerland since 1998. Switzerland have won five out of six previous mutual duels
  • Finland have never reached the final tournament, while Switzerland have played a total of four EHF EUROs, with three consecutive participations from 2002 to 2006 before making it again in 2020

North Macedonia vs Denmark
Thursday 11 March, 20:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • the teams enter the clash level on four points apiece, having each defeated Switzerland and Finland. Their double-header this week will be critical in determining the group’s top positions
  • North Macedonia have never beaten Denmark in an official match, with five played prior to Thursday’s clash
  • Denmark are the recently crowned world champions, having defended their maiden title won on home ground in 2019 in Egypt in January
  • Denmark backs Mikkel Hansen and Mathias Gidsel were named in the All-star Team and Hansen was also the World Championship MVP for the second straight time
  • legendary Macedonian back Kiril Lazarov was announced as coach of his national side in February and will function as a player/coach. He is the team’s top scorer in the qualifiers, with 17 goals

GROUP 8

Sweden vs Montenegro
Tuesday 9 March, 18:05 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Sweden took the silver medal at the World Championship in January, while Montenegro did not qualify for the event
  • Sweden players Jim Gottfridsson, Andreas Palicka and Hampus Wanne were all named in the World Championship All-star Team
  • the Scandinavian side started their EHF EURO qualifiers campaign with a narrow victory over Romania, 33:30, followed by a big win against Kosovo, 30:16
  • Montenegro also defeated Kosovo, 32:25, before losing decisively to Romania, 36:27
  • in nine previous mutual encounters, Montenegro have won only twice, including the most recent clash, in 2017

Kosovo vs Romania
Wednesday 10 March, 19:30 CET, live on EHFTV

  • this will be the debut of new Kosovo coach Bujar Qerimi, who has replaced former Australia representative Taip Ramadani
  • Kosovo have been defeated in both qualifier matches played so far, while Romania won one match and had one loss
  • Romania’s win came against Montenegro, 36:27, following a 33:30 loss to Sweden. Both matches were in November
  • Kosovo lost 32:25 to Montenegro and 30:16 to Sweden
  • Romania have won all three previous matches against Kosovo

EHF EURO Cup

Slovakia vs Spain
Wednesday 10 March, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • this is EHF EURO 2022 hosts Slovakia’s first match in the EHF EURO Cup
  • back-to-back EURO winners Spain enter the game following two losses in the competition — 29:32 against Hungary and 28:31 against Croatia
  • in January, Spain claimed the bronze medal at the World Championship. Right wing Ferran Sole was named in the All-star Team for the second straight World Championship
  • Slovakia did not qualify for the World Championship. The EHF EURO on home turf will be their first major championship participation since the continental event in 2021
  • back Jorge Maqueda has netted eight goals across Spain’s two EURO Cup games to be their top scorer so far

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