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EHF EURO

Neighbours battle for points in Debrecen and Szeged

EHF / Kevin Domas & Danijela Vekić

The second match day in Debrecen will begin with a Balkan clash between North Macedonia and Montenegro, both seeking first points. Later on, the game between Slovenia and Denmark will be a treat to watch as a win can open the doors for the main round.

In group C, the Balkan clash between Croatia and Serbia will be very important. If Serbia were to win it and France beat Ukraine in the meantime, both teams would progress to the main round, sending Croatia and Ukraine home.

GROUP A

North Macedonia vs Montenegro
Saturday 15 January, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Montenegro are headed to their 20th EHF EURO match and will aim for their second EHF EURO win. So far they only beat Serbia 22:21 in 2020
  • the two teams have met seven times previously. North Macedonia won five times and one of those celebrations was at the EHF EURO 2018
  • both teams started their EHF EURO 2022 journey with defeats. North Macedonia lost to Slovenia 25:27, while Montenegro fell 21:30 to Denmark
  • the second-round match will be a stage for two young teams with players taking a responsibility at their first major competition
  • Montenegro’s Branko Vujovic, who was their best scorer in the first match, will play his 10th international match

Kiril Lazarov, North Macedonia coach: “We have to prepare well. Montenegro has better individuals, but I believe my team will play with heart and make a good team. I think we still have much more to show, that they can play better.”

Drasko Mrvaljevic, Montenegro technical director: “We have to play better in duels but I believe in our younger players. This is a great experience for them. The team will play a strong match against North Macedonia. The players know their roles and I do believe they can perform even better.”

Slovenia vs Denmark

Saturday 15 January, 20:30 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Denmark are in the lead in the group, however Slovenia also have two points and are ready to fight for the first spot
  • the two teams have five EHF EURO encounters, both countries winning twice with one draw; however, overall the statistics are on Denmark’s side
  • goalkeepers Niklas Landin for Denmark and Slovenia’s Joze Baznik were both Grundfos Player of the Match in the opening matches of the competition
  • Slovenia are headed to their 78th EHF EURO match, while Denmark hits number 94
  • both teams play fast handball with strong defence

Ljubomir Vranjes, Slovenia coach: “It’s going to be hard. We only had one test match and it showed we need to play better. We are playing against the best in the world and that says enough. They have so many great players we can’t even count now. We have to prepare ourselves good.”

Nikolaj Jacobsen, Denmark coach: “We are playing against an experienced team. They were very good at the last EHF EURO and it will be an interesting match. It looks like it’s going to be the match for the first place and if we want to take two points with us, we must win.”

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GROUP C 

France vs Ukraine 
Saturday 15 January, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • after beating Croatia in round 1, France are top of the group with two points while Ukraine have yet to take a point after losing their first game to Serbia 
  • Ukraine are currently on a series of 10 straight defeats at the EHF EURO 
  • the two nations faced each other twice at the EHF EURO, in 2000 and 2006. France won both contests
  • the last official clash between the two sides dates back to the IHF Men’s World Championship 2007, and France also took the upper hand in this one (32:21) 
  • Nikola Karabatic will play his 65th EHF EURO game on Saturday night 

Guillaume Gille, coach, France: “Only one third of the job is done. The team of Ukraine, we don’t know a lot about, so we will have to be very concentrated if we want to win. Two more points would get us closer to the main round, so this game will also be very important for us.” 

Dmytro Horiha, left back, Ukraine: “The game against France will be another opportunity for us to continue our learning process, as we are a very young team.” 

Croatia vs Serbia 
Saturday 15 January, 20:30 CET, live on EHFTV

  • in the group, Serbia are currently leading with two points after winning their first game against Ukraine while Croatia have yet to take any points 
  • Serbia could book their ticket to the main round if they were to win against Croatia, if in the meantime France beat Ukraine 
  • Croatia and Serbia faced each other three times at the EHF EURO. Croatia won the last two games, in 2020 and 2018, while Serbia won the 2012 semi-final 
  • Ivan Cupic went past the mark of 160 goals scored at the EHF EURO. The right wing remains the best Croatian scorer at the EHF EURO, with 165 goals, and the game against Serbia will his 50th at the EHF EURO. Only Zlatko Horvat (56) and Igor Vori (54) have done better 
  • Croatia's David Mandic will miss the match after receiving a red card against France

Hrvoje Horvat, coach, Croatia: “The game against Serbia is already decisive for us. We expect a big fight against a historical rival of ours.” 

Lazar Kukic, centre back, Serbia: “It is good we managed to win against Ukraine, it gets our competition going. But Croatia will be a completely different level. We hope we can win, because it would mean we might be able to progress in the competition.” 

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