PREVIEW: While six from seven qualification groups for the Men's U21 World Championship 2017 in Algeria are played from 6 to 8 January, FYR Macedonia, Portugal, Poland and Turkey play their tournament already from 4 to 6 January
Four teams make head start to Men's U21 World Championship Qualification
The rules ahead of the Men's U21 World Championship Qualification are pretty clear and straight forward: There are seven groups with four teams each and only the first ranked team of each group qualifies for the final tournament in Algeria this summer.
The regular playing dates for the qualification tournaments are 6 to 8 January, and while six from seven groups adhere to this, the teams of Group 3, Poland, Portugal, FYR Macedonia and Turkey are off to an early start. They take to the court already from 4 to 6 January.
The tournaments is hosted by the Macedonian Handball Federation and will take place in the nation's capital Skopje.
Two matches are played on each day with Portugal vs Turkey and Poland vs FYR Macedonia being the first two encounters on Wednesday.
Portugal's coach Nuno Santos is confident about his team's chances despite the Macedonian home advantage. "Our prospects for this qualification tournament are very good. Regardless of where we play, Poland and Macedonia are very strong teams.
"But we have the possibility to qualify and we will fight for our objective," he says.
The Men's U21 World Championship 2017 in Algeria takes place from 17 to 30 July 2017.
France, as the current men's U19 world champions, as well as Spain, Germany, Croatia and Norway, as the teams ranked first, second, fourth and fifth at the Men's 20 EHF EURO 2016, are the five European teams already qualified.
TEXT: EHF / ts
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