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EHF EURO

Decisive clashes coming up in group I

EHF / Kevin Domas

While Croatia are now out of the running for the semi-finals run, five teams in main round group I can still dream of booking their final weekend ticket. But a win on Monday is essential

Iceland vs Croatia
Monday 24 January, 15:30 CET, live on EHFTV

  • with four points after two rounds, Iceland can still very much hope for a semi-final berth, while Croatia are now eliminated
  • this is only the sixth time since 1994 that Croatia will not qualify for the final weekend of the EHF EURO
  • Iceland have never defeated Croatia at the EHF EURO. Out of the five confrontations between the two nations, Croatia have won four, and one ended on a draw, back in 2010
  • Ivan Cupic will play his 54th EHF EURO game with Croatia, matching Igor Vori’s record. The right-winger is now two games short of Zlatko Horvat, the Croatian player with the most EHF EURO matches
  • Iceland’s Ómar Ingi Magnusson is currently the third best scorer of the EHF EURO 2022, with 33 goals. Croatia’s best scorer, Ivan Cupic, has netted 10 fewer goals

Viktor Hallgrímsson, goalkeeper, Iceland: “We showed against France that we could beat anyone with our heart. We know have our fate in our hands, but we’ll have to win against Croatia first, a team that will be very hard to beat.”

Hrvoje Horvat, coach, Croatia: “All I want is for my team to make a good impression in the last two games of the main round. Iceland are a very tough team, very talented, but we will go for the win again.”

Denmark vs Netherlands
Monday 24 January, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • currently sole leader of the group with six points, Denmark could move closer to the final weekend if they defeat the Netherlands
  • the Netherlands, on the other hand, are currently fourth in the group with two points, and a loss would eliminate them from the semi-final battle
  • this game will be the first between the two teams at the EHF EURO. However, Denmark and the Netherlands played against each other five times in history, Denmark winning four confrontations and on ending on a draw
  • Denmark’s Mikkel Hansen needs four goals to reach the 250 goals scored at the EHF EURO
  • Denmark could be qualified if they win on Monday while a win might not even be enough for the Netherlands, who are now missing their top scorer Kay Smits as well as eight other players and head coach Erlingur Richardsson through positive Covid tests

Mikkel Hansen, left back, Denmark: “We just want to keep winning, to keep the momentum going. The Netherlands are a very good team, with a lot of speed, and we will have to be very careful if we want to take the two points.”

Dani Baijens, centre back, Netherlands: "I said before the main round that I wanted us to win two games. That's half the job done already. Denmark will be a very tough opponent, probably better than the ones we played against so far. But we showed that, with us, nothing is impossible."

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Montenegro vs France
Monday 24 January, 20:30 CET, live on EHFTV

  • France are currently second in the group with four points and a +7 goal difference, while Montenegro are two points behind, standing fifth
  • the two teams have played each other only once in history, and never at the EHF EURO. Their only confrontation was at the 2013 World Championship, and France easily won 32:20
  • Montenegro are currently the second-least efficient defence of the main round teams, with 90 goals conceded. In comparison, France have only conceded 75 goals, making them the third best defence
  • Nikola Karabatic is currently the player with the most EHF EURO matches under his belt (67) and the second-best EHF EURO scorer of all-time (271 goals)
  • Montenegro’s best scorer at the EHF EURO 2022 is Branko Vujovic (33 goals), who is ranked third in the overall standings. Hugo Descat is currently France’s best scorer, with 21 goals

Valentin Porte, right back, France: “We still have our fate in our hands, we have to win our last two games to make it to the semi-finals. But Montenegro is a strong team, they will have nothing to lose and we will have to show something else than we did against Iceland.”

Vasko Sevaljevic, left back, Montenegro: “This game will be make or break for us. We have to win against France and see what happens. But the most important thing is that we give 100 per cent on the court, that we can be proud of ourselves after the game.”

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