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EHF EURO

France vs Serbia headlines round 3 in Hungary

With three main round tickets still to be booked from groups A and C, Monday’s matches in Hungary are likely to remain fiercely contested.

In group A, a defensive clash will decide which of Montenegro and Slovenia progress, while in Szeged both games are key.

GROUP A

Montenegro vs Slovenia
Monday 17 January, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • the two teams have met seven times before, including two EHF EURO matches; Slovenia have won all encounters
  • Slovenia’s biggest EHF EURO win was against Montenegro in 2018, 28:19
  • Montenegro are boosted with confidence after their second ever EHF EURO victory beating North Macedonia 28:24; Slovenia must come back after a 28:34 loss to Denmark
  • Ljubomir Vranjes’s crew needs to win if they want to see the main round and the same goes for their opponents
  • this will be a clash of two sturdy defences backed by good goalkeepers - Joze Baznik and Nebojsa Simic, both elected as Grundfos Player of the Match so far

Drasko Mrvaljevic, Montenegro technical director: “We still didn’t prepare for them. We go one day at the time. With all problems, we are just focused on our play. One thing that’s sure, it’s going to be difficult.”

Nikolaj Jacobsen, Denmark coach: “We are happy as we are in the main round and we are taking two points with us. The match against North Macedonia will be a good opportunity for some different things in our squad. We are looking forward to playing against them.’"

North Macedonia vs Denmark
Monday 17 January, 20:30 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Denmark is already in the main round and Kiril Lazarov’s team have no chances of progressing further
  • seven matches were played so far between these two countries, with North Macedonia winning only once
  • experience means a lot; Denmark are headed into their 95th EHF EURO match, North Macedonia plays their 37th
  • Mikkel Hansen is Denmark’s top scorer with 18 goals so far, Cvetan Kuzmanovski leads the Macedonian squad with 13

Kiril Lazarov, North Macedonia coach: “We play our last match of the EHF EURO against one of the best teams in the world. We need to enjoy it and gain as much experience as we can. This will be the chance for all young players to step on the court and play against such an amazing team. We need to start over. To rise up again, you have to fall. It’s the same with us. We have many talents but we need to work more and to work harder."

Ljubomir Vranjes, Slovenia coach: “That match will be really important for us. It’s going to be hard, that’s for sure. We need to prepare very good as we know what’s at stake in that match. One thing is sure, we are going for the win." 

Slovden SLO N1gk

GROUP C

Ukraine vs Croatia
Monday 17 January, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Ukraine and Croatia played against each other twice in the history of the EHF EURO, in 2000 and 2010. Croatia won both games
  • the only time Ukraine beat Croatia in official competitions was in 2001, in the Last 16 of the World Championship
  • while the chances for Ukraine to proceed to the main round are now slim, Croatia will maximize their chances to go to Budapest if they win on Monday
  • with 67 goals taken across two games, Ukraine currently have the least efficient defence of all teams playing the EHF EURO 2022
  • on the other end, with 45 goals in two games, Croatia are the second least prolific attack of the tournament, with only Bosnia and Herzegovina having scored less

Michael Biegler, coach, Ukraine: “This game against Croatia will be another chance for our young team to develop. We played good for 40 minutes against France, so I hope we can compete for a little while longer this time.”

Ivan Cupic, right wing, Croatia: “We must not think or calculate. All that matters is that we win Ukraine, do our best so we can proceed to the main round. Gaining some more confidence will also be very important.”

France vs Serbia
Monday 17 January, 20:30 CET, live on EHFTV

  • France and Serbia played against each other three times at the EHF EURO, in 2014, 2016 and 2018. France won all three games, scoring more than 30 goals each time
  • in the EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers, Serbia took three points out of the maximum against France, winning at home (27:24) before drawing in France (26:26)
  • France need a point to go through, independently of the result of the game Croatia vs Ukraine, while Serbia will go to the main round if they beat France by two, otherwise their fate will depend on the result of the other game in Group C
  • Serbia have brought in Telekom Veszprém Petar Nenadic in left back, replacing Petar Djordjic who has tested positive for Covid-19
  • this game will be the first against France for new Serbian national player Dragan Pechmalbec, who was born and raised in France but joined Serbia in April last year

Guillaume Gille, coach, France: “The game against Serbia will almost be like a final for us. If we win, we are through and we will take important points with us to the main round. That is the only thing that matters to us, winning this game.”

Vladimir Cupara, goalkeeper, Serbia: “Against France, everything will be in our hands. If we want to go to the main round, we have to win. We will give everything so we can progress in the competition.”

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