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11.06.2019, 09:46
Norway and Spain in EHF EURO Cup title race
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ROUND PREVIEW: Wins against Sweden on Wednesday and Austria on Thursday would set Spain and Norway up to fight for the EHF EURO Cup title.
 

Norway and Spain in EHF EURO Cup title race

The first ever edition of the EHF EURO Cup has broken up in two.

Before the last two match days this week, Norway and Spain are on top with six points each, while Sweden and Austria both have two.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the two top teams have the opportunity to make the gap even larger and set up a match to decide the title on Saturday in Bodø, Norway.

Spain vs Sweden
Wednesday 12 June, 21:00 local time, live on ehftv.com

  • Spain currently have six points after four matches just like Norway, while Sweden are third with two points
  • Spain won the first meeting between the two nations in this competition 29:28 away
  • In the Swedish team, IFK Kristianstad left wing Alfred Ehn makes his debut

Spain may have a poorer goal difference than Norway in the duel for first place in the EHF EURO Cup, but after defeating the Norwegians 30:27 at home earlier in the competition, the Spaniards are still in a very good position if they can win in Almeria on Wednesday night.

However, Sweden are still hungry after revenge for the 29:23 defeat in the final at the EHF EURO 2018 in Croatia – a revenge they did not achieve in their first meeting with Spain in this competition, as the Spaniards won 29:28 in Malmö back in October.

“I am looking forward to this week and the matches against Spain and Austria, which we will obviously do our utmost to win, not least as this is also important to our preparations for the European championship at home next year,” said Sweden´s coach Kristjan Andrésson.

Austria vs Norway
Thursday 13 June, 20:25 local time, live on ehftv.com

  • A win for Norway takes them through to a home fight for the title on Saturday
  • A defeat risks leaving Austria last in the competition
  • Austria lost 31:43 to Norway in their first meeting in this competition
  • The two teams have the three highest-scoring players in the competition - Norwegians Magnus Jøndal and Sander Sagosen are first and third with 25 and 22 goals, while Austria´s Janko Bozovic is third with 23

While Austria are aiming to avoid finish last and to avenge their 12-goal defeat in the first match against Norway, the Scandinavians can take a big step towards the group win with a victory on Thursday night in Klagenfurt.

“Winning is always most important, and we want to win everything we take part in,” said Norway´s coach Christian Berge about the last two matches against Austria and Spain.

Berge has included a potential debutant, 21-year-old left back Simen Holand Pettersen from Norwegian champions Elverum Håndball, in the squad for the two matches.


TEXT: Peter Bruun/jh
 
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