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07.06.2015, 21:36
Czechs hit by injuries
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PREVIEW: Czech Republic have a long list of injuries troubling them at the moment, but are determined to qualify for their fifth consecutive EHF EURO.
 

Czechs hit by injuries

Injury plagued Czech Republic’s next opponent in their quest to qualify for the EHF EURO 2016 is the seemingly invincible France.

The odds of taking the two points are not in Czech’s favour, which means their final Group 6 qualification match, against FYR Macedonia, will be a crucial one for both nations.

Head coach Daniel Kubes says the whole team is looking forward to both clashes against these top teams, but admits he is a little worried about the team he will field.

"We have big problems with injuries in our team. Filip Jicha played through pain under medicine in the FINAL4. Martin Galia is definitely out, and Pavel Horak is also struggling with injury and might not be fully fit until Wednesday," said Kubes.

Back in the squad after recovering from knee ligament injuries are Ladislav Brykner and Jan Stehlik.

No room for speculation

France are already qualified for Poland, but Kubes is cautious and believes there is no reason for motivation in the French team to drop.

“Although France are through, I would not like to talk about how they will approach the match. The line-up they will field will surely be the best they have.

"It is an honour for every player to wear the national team jersey and I am sure they will want to win the game against us,” said Kubes, who is in charge of his first qualifying campaign after taking over the national team last year with Jan Filip.

Czech Republic faced France at the last World Championship in Qatar. In a tight match, France prevailed 30-27, which Kubes will have in mind ahead of the game in Brno:

"The situation at the moment is not easy. Of course we will take our recent match against France in Qatar into consideration however, a lot will depend which players will be fit on Wednesday."

Magical venue

The match against France will take place in Brno, where Czech beat Serbia by 12 goals to reach the last World Championship.

"In Brno we have played the best games with the national team in my memory. The atmosphere and support from the fans will be great.

"We ask every player to give it everything, to go beyond their limits. Whether it is enough for a win or not we will see, but we need to see the correct attitude playing in the national colours."

Winner takes it all

Another tough test awaits Czech Republic four days after the match against France.

"The match with Macedonia will be decisive for the whole campaign. We need to win there to be sure of second place in the table.

"Macedonia have a great team. They have two clubs in the Champions League, they made it to the main round of the last EURO and gave a fight to big teams. They have experienced players in the top clubs in Europe.”

Czech’s first qualification match against Macedonia ended in a dramatic 27:27 draw. The winner of the second meeting in Skopje will likely take second place in the group, and with it the second Group 6 ticket to Poland.


TEXT: Tomas Cuncik / cg / ts
 
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