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30.10.2012, 09:30
The ‘15 out of 28’ lottery starts on Wednesday
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Second qualification phase for the Men’s EHF EURO 2014 to begin all over Europe.
 

The ‘15 out of 28’ lottery starts on Wednesday

28 men’s national teams fight for 15 places at the EHF EURO 2014 in Denmark (12 to 26 January) during the second qualification stage, which starts on 31 October all over Europe.

There are four teams each in seven groups and only the winner and the runners-up of each group and the best ranked third team (taking into account matches against the first and second ranked teams) will make their way to the EHF EURO 2014.

For the first time ever the defending champions are not directly qualified for the EHF EURO event – but EHF EURO 2012 champions Denmark are enjoying the advantage of also being the event’s host in 2014.

On the way to the final tournament, Ukraine, Switzerland, Romania, Israel, Turkey and Latvia made their first step by proceeding to the second qualification stage as the winners or best ranked runners-ups from the first qualification round, which was played in four groups in June this year.

Now 84 matches in total in six rounds decide the EURO qualifiers.

Those six rounds will be played in three ‘double match days’ from 31 October 2012 to 16 June 2013.

Round 1: 31 October/1 November 2012
Round 2:  3-4 November 2012
Round 3: 3-4 April 2013
Round 4: 6-7 April 2013
Round 5: 12-13 June 2013
Round 6: 15/16 June 2013

Several matches live on ehfTV.com

In a new approach to extend the coverage of handball and make European national team matches available to a worldwide audience, a dedicated EHF National Teams Channel has been newly created. These qualification matches of round 1 and 2 will be broadcasted free of charge on the European Handball Federation’s online TV platform, ehfTV.com.

  • Poland vs. Netherlands on Wednesday, 31 October, at 18:00 hrs. CET
  • Serbia vs. Russia, 31 October, at 20:30 hrs. CET
  • FYR Macedonia vs Switzerland, 31 October, at 20:00 hrs. CET
  • Spain vs. Portugal on Thursday, 1 November, at 12:30 hrs. CET
  • Germany vs. Montenegro, 1 November, at 19:00 hrs. CET
  • Switzerland vs. Spain, 4 November, 16:00 hrs. CET
  • Israel vs. Germany, 4 November, 18:45 hrs. CET

All matches will be available on demand afterwards. Geo-blocking might apply in certain markets.

The previews

 

Group 1: Spain, FYR Macedonia, Portugal, Switzerland

Round 1:

FYR Macedonia vs. Switzerland; 31 Oct, 20:00 hrs. local time in Skopje

After the surprising performance of HC Metalurg, that won four from four in the VELUX EHF Champions League Group Phase, and the easy qualification for the 2013 World Championship the team of Zvonko Shundovski are highly ambitious in this group. In their opener against qualifier Switzerland FYR Macedonia are in the favourite position.

Spain vs. Portugal; 1 Nov, 12:30 hrs. local time in Seville

The duel between these two neighbouring countries is the chance for the host to promote their 2013 World Championship in one of the hosting cities. Even though goalkeeper Jose Javier Hombrados is out with a long-term injury, the Spaniards should be able to gain an opening victory.

Round 2:

Switzerland vs. Spain; 4 Nov, 16:00 hrs. local time in Schaffhausen

Portugal vs. Fyr Macedonia; 4 Nov, 17:00 hrs. local time in Espinho

Group 2: Germany, Czech Republic, Montenegro, Israel

Round 1:

Czech Republic vs. Israel; 31 Oct, 18:00 hrs. local time in Zlin

Former World Handball Player Filip Jicha and his compatriots seem to have the easiest possible start in this tough group by hosting Israel. Both teams count on new coaches - Vladimir Haber in his third appearance on the Czech bench and Israel head coach Dragan Djukic who had been coach of the British men’s team at the Olympics.

Germany vs. Montenegro; 1 Nov, 19:00 hrs. local time in Mannheim

Thanks to their home advantage and although they have to replace several injured players like Holger Glandorf, Patrick Groetzki or Lars Kaufmann, Germany are supposed to win. But they need to be aware after Montenegro had shown their strength by eliminating Sweden in the 2013 World Championship qualification.

Round 2:

Montenegro vs. Czech Republic; 4 Nov, 17:00 hrs. local time in Bar

Israel vs. Germany; 4 Nov, 19:45 hrs. local time in Rishon Le Zion

Group 3: France, Norway, Lithuania, Turkey

Round 1:

Norway vs. Turkey; 31 Oct, 19:10 hrs. local time in Stjordal

After they had missed the 2013 World Championship by losing the Play-Offs in aggregate against Hungary, Norway want to make their way to Denmark now. The team of coach Robert Hedin should be able to outclass qualifier Turkey.

France vs. Lithuania; 1 Nov, 19:00 hrs. local time in Rouen

The French roster is far away from the one at the 2012 Olympic Games when they took the gold medal, as Karabatic, Honrubia (judicial enquiries), Guillaume Gille (end of career) and Fernandez (injured) are not among the nominated players. But still Lithuania should not be a high hurdle for the world and Olympic champions.

Round 2:

Lithuania vs. Norway; 4. Nov, 16:15 hrs. local time in Kaunas

Turkey vs. France; 4 Nov, 19:00 hrs. local time in Mersin

Group 4: Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Latvia

Round 1:

Croatia vs. Slovakia; 31 Oct, 18:00 hrs. local time in Osijek

One of the top duels in the first round will bring the Slovakian national team to the Olympic bronze medallists. The Croatian team possesses the favourite role, but Slovakia want to prove that they learned their lesson from missing the 2013 World Championship.

Hungary vs. Latvia; 31 Oct, 18:45 hrs local time in Gyöngyös

Qualifier Latvia are the clear underdog in Hungary. The hosts are flying on the wing of success – on national team level by reaching the Olympic semi-final, and on club level by the highly successful performances of national champions Veszprem in the VELUX EHF Champions League.

Round 2:

Latvia vs. Croatia; 3 Nov, 19:05 hrs. local time in Dobele

Slovakia vs. Hungary; 4 Nov, 17:00 hrs. local time in Presov

Group 5: Poland, Sweden, Netherlands, Ukraine

Round 1:

Poland vs. Netherlands; 31 Oct, 18:00 hrs. local time in Plock

New Polish coach Michael Biegler starts a new era in the national team. Focussing already on the EHF EURO 2016 on home soil, the German is supposed to build a new team – and even with a lot of young players the internationally more experienced Poles are the favourite against Netherlands.

Sweden vs. Ukraine; 1 Nov, 19:15 hrs. local time in Lund

First they made it to the semi-final at their home World Championship in 2011, then they made it to the Olympics, then they missed the upcoming 2013 World Championship before becoming Olympic silver medallists – the Swedish men’s team are currently on a roller coaster. But the record EHF EURO champion (four titles) are the favourite despite the improvement of the Ukrainian team in the past years.

Round 2:

Netherlands vs. Sweden; 3 Nov, 19:30 hrs. local time in Almere

Ukraine vs. Poland; 4. Nov., 17:00 hrs. local time in Zaporozhye

Group 6: Iceland, Slovenia, Belarus, Romania

Round 1:

Iceland vs. Belarus; 31 Oct, 19:30 hrs. local time in Reykjavik

New coach Aron Kristjanson is also in a built-up process of a new team, as his top gunner Olafur Stefansson quit from playing in the Icelandic jersey – but his successor Aron Palmarsson has already shown his abilities in London, when he became an All Star Team member. But Belarus have strengthened, too – thanks to their outstanding top star Siarhei Rutenka they have qualified for the 2013 World Championship and are aiming to qualify for their second EHF EURO in history.

Slovenia vs. Romania; 31 Oct, 20:15 hrs. local time in Koper

The Slovenian team were one of the big surprises at the 2012 EHF EURO in Serbia. The rejuvenated team of Boris Denic showed fast and modern handball. Romania had to make their way through the first qualification stage, but proceeded easily. However, a victory in Koper would definitely be a surprise.

Round 2:

Belarus vs. Slovenia; 4 Nov, 14:00 hrs. local time in Minsk

Romania vs. Iceland; 4 Nov., 16:00 hrs. local time in Piatra Neamt

Group 7: Serbia, Austria, Russia, Bosnia Herzegovina

Round 1:

Austria vs. Bosnia Herzegovina; 31 Oct, 20:25 hrs. local time in Linz

It is a Balkan team again: After the Austrians failed on their way to the 2013 World Championship against FYR Macedonia, they now have to face two former Yugoslavian teams, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, again. And they have to be aware of the Bosnian squad, as they – despite not succeeding to book the ticket to Spain – sensationally beat Germany by nine goals during the World Championship qualification.

Serbia vs. Russia; 31 Oct, 20:30 hrs. local time in Nis

Two powerhouses of the world of handball face off in this opener. Serbia as the EHF EURO silver medallist compete against Russia, which missed the 2011 world championship and the 2012 Olympics. But new Russian coaches Oleg Kuleshov and Alexander Rymanov successfully started their era by qualifying for the 2013 World Championship.

Round 2:

Bosnia Herzegovina vs. Serbia; 4 Nov, 17:00 hrs. local time in Sarajevo

Russia vs. Austria; 4 Nov, 17:00 hrs. local time in Perm


TEXT: Björn Pazen / ts
 
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