20210314 Denmark Jacobsen
EHF EURO

Action-packed week decides race to EHF EURO 2022

EHF / Courtney Gahan

The remaining berths at the Men’s EHF EURO 2022 in Hungary and Slovakia will be decided this week, and it all begins in Israel on Monday night, when the first of 20 qualifiers on the schedule up to Thursday night takes place.

With only Germany and Serbia assured of their place at the final tournament, there are still 18 tickets remaining.

Meanwhile, three clashes in the EHF EURO Cup will be played on Wednesday and Thursday.

GROUP 1

Greece vs France
Tuesday 27 April, 19:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Tuesday’s clash is the first of a double-header that will decide group 1’s second berth at the final tournament, with the reverse fixture to be played on Sunday
  • France bring five points into the match; Greece have four points
  • the teams have not met since 2005. The overall balance stands at five wins for France, one for Greece and one draw
  • France have participated in every final tournament, while Greece have never qualified for the EHF EURO before

Greece vs Serbia
Thursday 29 April, 14:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Serbia are one of two teams (alongside Germany) sure of their place at the EHF EURO 2022, with nine points in their account
  • Serbia won the first qualifier match against Greece, 31:21, led by eight goals from Bogdan Radivojevic
  • in the January qualifiers, Serbia played a double-header against France, beating the EHF EURO 2018 bronze medallists 27:24 in Zrenjanin then drawing 26:26
  • before their mutual qualifier game in January, the teams had never met in an official match

GROUP 2

Bosnia and Herzegovina vs Germany
Thursday 29 April, 16:10 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Germany are the only other team, alongside Serbia, to have already booked their place at the EHF EURO 2022
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina are vying for their second EHF EURO participation after debuting at the 2020 edition
  • Germany have eight points and are group leaders ahead of this encounter; Bosnia and Herzegovina are in second place with four points
  • Germany won the home leg versus Bosnia and Herzegovina 25:21 in November
  • prior to the EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers, the teams had met twice before, in the World Championship 2013 qualification play-offs. Germany won by three goals on aggregate, with both sides collecting victories at home

Estonia vs Austria
Thursday 29 April, 18:30 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Estonia and Austria are at the bottom of the group with two points apiece, with Estonia ahead based on goal difference
  • Austria won the first-leg encounter versus Estonia 31:28 in November, collecting their only points so far with that victory
  • Estonia’s points came from a home win against Bosnia and Herzegovina in January
  • since 2014, Austria have missed only one EHF EURO tournament (2016), and could be facing their first failed qualification since then
  • the teams have played each other nine times, with the last match prior to the EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers taking place in 2008

GROUP 3

Ukraine vs Czech Republic
Wednesday 28 April, 17:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • the race is tight between the top three teams in group 3, with Ukraine on five points in second and Czech Republic on three points in third. Russia lead the group with six points
  • Ukraine and Czech Republic will play each other twice this week, with the second fixture to be played on Sunday in Brno
  • Czech Republic’s sole win came against Faroe Islands in March. They also drew with Russia 27:27 and lost to Russia 28:27
  • Ukraine also drew with Russia, 25:25, and beat Faroe Islands twice
  • the teams have met four times before, with the latest match played at the EHF EURO 2020, where Czech Republic won 23:19 in the preliminary round in Vienna

Russia vs Faroe Islands
Wednesday 28 April, 18:30 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • with three matches ahead this week, Faroe Islands still have a chance to climb the table and secure their first participation in the EHF EURO, although they currently count zero points from three losses
  • Russia are the group leaders with six points but have not had an easy run through the qualifiers, with both of their wins extremely close alongside two draws
  • Russia and Faroe Islands have met twice before, with Russia winning both games clearly back in the qualifiers for the EHF EURO 2010
  • the teams will meet for a second time this week on Sunday in Torshavn

GROUP 4

Israel vs Lithuania
Monday 26 April, 20:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Israel sit bottom of group 4 in their quest to return to the EHF EURO for the first time since 2002
  • Lithuania are third in the group with two points, with their one victory recorded against Israel in March, 31:28
  • Israel have played only two matches in the EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers so far, losing the two away games in Portugal (31:22) and Lithuania (31:28). Monday’s match is the first of four for them this week
  • like Israel, Lithuania have played the EHF EURO only once before — and it has been an even longer wait, with that participation in 1998

Israel vs Iceland
Tuesday 27 April, 19:30 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Israel will back up their hosting duties on Monday with this clash versus Iceland, also at home
  • it is the first leg between the sides, with the reverse fixture to be played in Hafnarfjordur on Sunday
  • Iceland bring four points into the match, having won against Lithuania in November and against Portugal in January, both at home
  • the teams have met six times before, most recently in the EHF EURO 2016 qualifiers, when Iceland won both matches decisively
  • Iceland have played every EHF EURO since 2000. In 2002, when Israel participated for the first and only time, ranking 14th, Iceland finished fourth

Lithuania vs Iceland
Thursday 29 April, 18:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • the teams met for the first leg of their mutual encounter in the opening round of qualifiers in November, with Iceland winning 36:20 at home
  • both will have faced Israel earlier in the week when they meet for Thursday’s clash, and will hope to have built on their points as of Monday (four for Iceland; two for Lithuania)
  • the clear score line in Iceland’s favour in the first fixture between the sides was vastly different from their previous encounters — in the World Championship 2019 qualification play-offs, the teams drew 27:27 in Lithuania before Iceland won 34:31 at home
  • Lithuania have not beaten Iceland in an official match since 1997

Israel vs Portugal
Thursday 29 April, 19:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Portugal are the group leaders with six points after three wins and just one loss, to Iceland
  • Israel started the week with zero points but will have played two matches by the time they host Portugal on Thursday
  • after returning to the final EHF EURO tournament for the first time in 14 years in 2020 and following that with a comeback to the World Championship in 2021, Portugal hope to secure a second consecutive EURO berth
  • with every mutual match prior to the last two taking place before the 1990s, only the most recent are relevant — and Portugal won both, in the EHF EURO 2002 preliminary round and in phase 1 of the World Championship 2017 qualification

GROUP 5

Turkey vs Slovenia
Tuesday 27 April, 18:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • both teams have played three matches in the qualifiers, with Turkey being defeated three times and Slovenia winning two games and recording one draw
  • Slovenia are the joint group leaders alongside the Netherlands, with five points
  • Slovenia have only missed the final EHF EURO tournament twice, in 1998 and 2014. Turkey have never reached the final tournament and are participating in qualification phase 2 for only the third time
  • Turkey and Slovenia have not met for an official match since the EHF EURO qualifiers in 1995
  • the teams will face each other again on Sunday in Celje. In between the mutual games, both teams will face other opponents in the group on Thursday

Turkey vs Netherlands
Thursday 29 April, 18:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • the Netherlands enter this game with five points gathered from two wins and one draw; Turkey had zero points as of Monday, prior to the match against Slovenia
  • one of the Netherland’s victories was in the home leg versus Turkey, 27:26
  • Turkey and the Netherlands have an extensive history against each other, having met on court a total of 13 times. The Netherlands won nine of those clashes
  • the Netherlands’ Kay Smits is joint top scorer of the qualifiers alongside Switzerland’s Andy Schmid, with 35 goals
  • the Dutch hope for a second consecutive EHF EURO participation after their first in history in 2020

Poland vs Slovenia
Thursday 29 April, 20:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Slovenia will take the court with at least five points — possibly more after their match against Turkey on Tuesday — while Poland have four
  • in the first leg between the sides, Slovenia won 32:29 in Celje
  • Poland’s four points were collected thanks to wins against Turkey, while their losses were very close — along with the narrow defeat to Slovenia, they lost by one goal to the Netherlands, 26:27
  • Poland left back Szymon Sicko is among the leading scorers of the qualifiers, with 22 goals so far, including eight scored in the reverse fixture against Slovenia
  • Poland missed just one EHF EURO since they first qualified in 2002 — the edition in 2018 in Croatia, right after they hosted the final tournament in 2016

GROUP 6

Latvia vs Norway
Wednesday 28 April, 18:40 CEST, live on EHFTV

Norway vs Latvia
Thursday 29 April, 18:15 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Norway and Latvia meet for a double-header on back-to-back days, with both matches to be played in Valmiera
  • group 6 is one of just three in the qualifiers where every team has earned points. Latvia have two points earned from a home win versus Italy; Norway count four points following a home win versus Belarus and an away victory against Italy
  • both teams have lost to Belarus — Norway were defeated in the away leg in January, 33:25, while Latvia lost 27:39 at home. Latvia also lost to Italy in Chieti
  • this double-header will see the first official matches ever between Norway and Latvia

Italy vs Belarus
Thursday 29 April, 19:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • it is a battle between the group frontrunners and the side currently sitting last, as Belarus bring six points into the encounter and Italy have two
  • Belarus won the first leg between the sides at home, 37:32. Belarus also beat Latvia and Norway once each, then lost the away leg versus the Scandinavian side
  • Italy’s one win came against Latvia in January
  • the teams have met six times before, but the last game was played in 2005. Belarus won three times, Italy won twice and one game ended in a draw

GROUP 7

Finland vs North Macedonia
Wednesday 28 April, 17:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • North Macedonia take the court as group leaders alongside world champions Denmark, with six points in their account. Finland have yet to earn a point in the qualifiers
  • North Macedonia won the home leg against Finland 33:24
  • North Macedonia’s other two victories came against Switzerland (23:25 away) and Denmark (33:29), with the latter particularly notable as it was the Scandinavian team’s first official game after they won the World Championship 2021 final in January
  • it is the fourth meeting overall between the teams, with North Macedonia having won two matches and one game, in 2004, ending in a draw
  • Finland’s Max Granlund is one of the leading scorers of the qualifiers, with 28 goals putting him in fourth position. North Macedonia’s player/coach Kiril Lazarov and back Filip Kuzmanovski are not far behind, with 21 and 20 goals, respectively

Switzerland vs Denmark
Wednesday 28 April, 18:30 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • only two points separate third-ranked Switzerland from group leaders Denmark, with the world champions bringing six points into the match and Switzerland counting four in their tally
  • Denmark have scored the highest number of goals in the qualifiers, with 137 in four games
  • Denmark won the first leg against Switzerland 31:26 in November
  • Switzerland have never beaten Denmark in an official match — the best result was two draws, while Denmark have won 10 of the 12 mutual games
  • Switzerland’s Andy Schmid is the joint top scorer of the qualifiers, with 35 goals, alongside the Netherlands’ Kay Smits. Denmark’s leading scorer, Mikkel Hansen, has struck 18 times

GROUP 8

Romania vs Sweden
Wednesday 28 April, 17:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Sweden are one of four teams (alongside Serbia, Germany and Slovenia) yet to lose a match in the qualifiers. The world vice-champions count six points in their tally and lead the group
  • Romania occupy second position in the group, with three points, holding the edge over Kosovo due to goal difference
  • in the reverse fixture in Partille, Sweden took a 33:30 victory
  • in their long mutual history, Sweden and Romania have met 15 times, with eight wins for Sweden, six for Romania and one draw
  • Sweden have missed only one final EHF EURO tournament in history and remain the record champions with four titles. Romania have not reached the final tournament since 1996

Kosovo vs Montenegro
Wednesday 28 April, 19:30 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Kosovo have three points heading into this match, with all those points earned against Romania, whom they beat and drew against
  • Montenegro took the two points in their account in the home leg versus Kosovo, which they won 32:25 in what was the first clash ever between the sides
  • Montenegro have played one match less than Kosovo, and will take on Sweden and Romania later in the week, while Kosovo will meet Sweden in their last qualifier
  • Montenegro are targeting their fifth straight EHF EURO participation; Kosovo their first

EHF EURO CUP

Slovakia vs Croatia
Wednesday 28 April, 19:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

Croatia vs Slovakia
Thursday 29 April, 18:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • the teams are meeting for a back-to-back double-header in Varazdin
  • Slovakia are hunting their first win in the EHF EURO Cup, having been defeated three times so far
  • Croatia have played two games in the EHF EURO Cup 2022 and won both, beating Hungary 31:27 and current EHF EURO champions Spain 31:28
  • Slovakia lost to Hungary twice and Spain once, all with clear score lines against them
  • Slovakia’s Patrik Hruscak is the second top scorer of the EHF EURO Cup, with 17 goals

Spain vs Hungary
Wednesday 28 April, 20:30 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Hungary are the leaders in the round robin EHF EURO Cup, having won three of four matches played so far
  • Hungary won the reverse fixture against Spain 32:29 in November. They also took decisive wins against EURO co-hosts Slovakia
  • EHF EURO title holders Spain have won just one of three EURO Cup games played, beating Slovakia 30:18. They lost to both Croatia and Hungary by three goals
  • with 26 goals, Hungary right back Dominik Mathe is the clear top scorer of the EHF EURO Cup

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