Hand – ChE (H) – The five rivals of the Blues on the road to the european title

Hand – ChE (H) – The five rivals of the Blues on the road to the european title

Handball European Championship (Men)

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This Friday against Norway in Porec (Croatia), the team of France launches out in a European Championship open as ever, where it is part of the seven or eight teams that can claim the title. Here are the top five favorites.

Handball - European Championship (H) - The Croatian Duvnjak will want to shine at home. (A. Mounic/Team)

The Croatian Duvnjak will want to shine at home. (A. Mounic/The Team)

1. Croatia

“The Croatians are the favorites of the tournament, writes Luc Abalo. in This is a team that is a sign of very good results over the last several years, and which will be pushed by his incredible public.” But, after thirteen years without a title, the pressure will be enormous. With a group less experienced than in the past, the Kauboji (cowboys) will need a big tournament from their leader Domagoj Duvnjak, income there is a bit of a knee operation.

2. Norway

This is the best enemy of the Blues, who will meet Friday for the seventh time in a year, a series that includes the World cup final 2017 (33-26 for France). The Norwegians have a skeleton in place for several years, and a strong defense in front of a big goalkeeper, Törbjorn Bergerud, who is revealed to the world Championship. And, in the person of the Parisian Sander Sagosen (22 years), the exceptional player capable of changing the face of a match to him alone.

3. Denmark

concern button all the kingdom : Mikkel Hansen, THE star of the country where is born the handball, he could carry the olympic champions, who have been given all of the preparation because of pain in one knee ? His absence has not prevented the Scandinavians to sign on to a convincing victory over France in a friendly in Paris on Sunday (29-28). The olympic champions, now led by the excellent coach Nicolaj Jacobsen, have for them a solid defensive block, a keeper of world-class (Niklas Landin), a deep bench and a spirit vengeful after their flop in the knockout stages of the World for 2017.

4. Germany

European Champion-totally unexpected in 2016, the Nationalmannschaft will she be the first to succeed in the doubled european since the great Sweden of the 1990s ? Not simple. The choice of the new coach, Christian Prokop, have been heavily criticised in the country and his team has hardly shown itself to be sovereign since his world Championship failed (exit in the knockout stages). With his defense of double meters and his wingers with devastating against the image of captain Uwe Gensheimer, the holding remains terrible but still lack a playmaker of top level.

5. Spain

Non-qualified for the olympics in Rio then eliminated in the quarter-finals of the Global 2017, the great nation of the South is struggling since his final lost against Germany two years ago (24-17). The Hispanos can count on one of the best goalkeepers of the tray with the francophile Gonzalo Perez de Vargas and, always, on the great pivot Julen Aguinagalde. But their rear base seems a bit limited. The young Sweden, very promising, and Slovenia, diminished by injuries, have also the right to dream, two years after the miracle wrought by the Germans.

Ya. H.

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