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09.01.2018, 13:28
Race for World Championship 2019 Play-off spots enters final lap
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PREVIEW: From 10 to 14 January the first six participants of the play-offs en route to the World Champions 2019 in Germany and Denmark will be determined. All qualification group 3 matches will be broadcast live on ehfTV
 

Race for World Championship 2019 Play-off spots enters final lap

There are six spots in the play-offs available for the teams participating in the first qualification phase en route to the World Championship 2019 in Germany and Denmark.

All of these six will be determined when the final matches in all six qualification groups take place from 10 to 14 January – only the respective group winners advance.

Already knocking on the door to the play-offs are Russia in group 1. They have won all of their four matches to date and given their 32:22 win against Slovakia in October, they could even afford to lose by nine goals or less when the return takes place on Thursday – provided they beat Finland two days late.

If Russia take a point or more in Povazská Bystrica, everything is already decided. Group 5 is quite the opposite. With the Netherlands on 6 points and Turkey and Belgium on 5 each, three teams can still grab the top spot.

Belgium and Turkey face each other on 10 January; the Netherlands play in Greece on 11 January.

On 14 January, Netherlands play Belgium and Turkey meet Greece at home. In group 6, Switzerland top the table with four points ahead of Bosnia-Herzegovina, who are on two.

However, the Bosnian team still has all the possibilities as the final two are a double-header between them and Switzerland on 10 and 13 January.

Groups 2, 3 and 4 are all played in a tournament format with matches starting either on 11 or 12 January. Group 2 consists of Lithuania, Latvia and Georgia; in group 3 Romania, Italy, Ukraine and Faroe Islands meet, while the victory in group 4 is contested between Portugal, Poland, Cyprus and Kosovo.

All matches of group 4 will be streamed live on ehfTV. For many more matches the EHF live ticker is available.

13 European teams play at the World Championship

Europe will be represented by 13 teams at the 24-nation Men's World Championship 2019 which will be played from 10 to 27 January 2019 in Germany and Denmark.

France as defending champions as well as Germany and Denmark as hosts are already qualified. They will be joined by the champion of the Men's EHF EURO 2018 or the respective best ranked team in case France, Germany or Denmark win gold.

Hence 12 of the following 13 teams are qualified for the play-offs: Austria, Belarus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Spain, Hungary, Iceland, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Slovenia, Serbia and Sweden.

The play-offs from 8 to 10 and from 12 to 14 June will determine the final nine European participants for the Men's World Championship 2019.


TEXT: EHF / ts
 
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