20220121

Spain aim for sixth consecutive semi-final berth

EHF / Adrian Costeiu

Spain, who are riding a six-game winning streak at the EHF EURO, have a prime chance to edge closer to their sixth semi-finals berth in a row with a win against Russia in main round group II on Friday.

Germany, who lost their first game in the tournament on Thursday, face a hefty challenge from Norway, and Sweden are also looking to add points against Poland.

GROUP II

Russia vs Spain
Friday, 21 January, 15:30 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Spain won the last six games played at the EHF EURO and are on a record 16-game unbeaten run
  • ‘Los Hispanos’ aim to become the second team to qualify for six consecutive semi-finals in the competition, after Croatia between 2004 and 2016, and also the first side to win medals in five consecutive EHF EURO editions
  • Russia’s left back Sergei Mark Kosorotov, their top scorer at the EHF EURO 2022, will miss the game, due to a positive Covid-19 test earlier in the week
  • defensive specialist Gedeon Guardiola and back Eduardo Gurbindo will tie Joan Cañellas and Alberto Entrerrios as the fourth-most capped Spanish players in the history of the EHF EURO, with 44 games each. Cañellas is currently out due to Covid
  • Spain won the last four competitive games against Russia, two of which came at the EHF EURO, 30:27 in 2012 and 25:23 in 2016

Ferran Sole, Spain right wing: “If we beat Russia, it looks really good. At the moment, we are in great form, but things can change quickly. We have to be aware and we should not talk about the semi-finals too much.”

Velimir Petkovic, Russia coach: “We cannot change that much, as we miss those two important players, Kosorotov and Daniil Shishkarev. We have some players in our current line-up which had not been part of the preparation, this makes things harder. But you need to have high quality in this tournament.”

Poland vs Sweden
Friday, 21 January, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • no other team has conceded more goals by this stage of the EHF EURO 2022 than Poland’s 123, with the Polish side setting the record for the largest number of goals conceded in a game on Thursday, 42, against Norway
  • Swedish left wing Hampus Wanne is the second top goal scorer of the competition, with 28 goals, eight fewer than the leader of the standings, Dutch right back Kay Smits
  • this will be Poland’s last chance to contend for a semi-finals berth, as they will be eliminated if they lose. They have a four-point gap behind Spain and Sweden, with only two games left after Friday’s match
  • Sweden’s goalkeeper and captain, Andreas Palicka, is slowly building his form, taking his overall saving efficiency to 31 per cent at the EHF EURO 2022, after a 16-save game against Russia on Thursday
  • the two sides met 26 times in competitive matches, with Sweden taking 12 wins, as opposed to Poland’s 10. However, Sweden have won just once at the EHF EURO – 28:26 in 2020 – in the last six games

Kamil Syprzak, Poland line player: “We have three games to play and nothing is over for us.”

Glenn Solberg, Sweden coach: “This is a new Polish team, a great team, which plays extremely physical and tough. We played two test matches against them in November, but their squad is different and better now. Especially, we have to take care on their line player – we expect a really hard game.”

20220121 Gpii Preview NOR Sagosen

Germany vs Norway
Friday, 21 January, 21:30 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Norway have the best attack in the competition, after scoring 42 times against Poland on Thursday. That performance improved their overall tally at the EHF EURO 2022 to 138 goals, for an average of 34.5 goals per game
  • 51 of those goals were scored by the left-hand side pair of wing Sebastian Barthold (28 goals) and back Sander Sagosen (23 goals)
  • Sagosen, who is now joint 19th in the all-time scorer list of the EHF EURO, needs only five goals to jump to 16th place, leapfrogging Croatia’s Domagoj Duvnjak and Zlatko Horvat and Ivano Balic and Spain’s Alberto Entrerrios
  • seven of Norway’s players are currently plying their trade at club level in the German Bundesliga, giving them intricate knowledge about their opponents
  • the two sides have met in 53 matches, including friendlies, with Germany taking 36 wins. These victories included the last two games, with the latest coming at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in July 2021, 28:23

Alfred Gislason, Germany coach: “We do not have that much time to think about this match. We know the players quite well. To be successful, we need to shoot better from the distance.”

Christian O’Sullivan, Norway centre back: “We want to play like we play against Poland, as this is the way we like to play. We want to stick to this concept with aggressive defence, counter attacks and speed against Germany. We have less than 24 hours to prepare, but we feel good and we managed to save some power.”

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