Sweden - Romania

World Championship finalists hunt points as qualifiers resume

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EHF / Courtney Gahan

The Men’s EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers continue with nine matches set to be played mid-week, from Tuesday to Thursday.

Among the headliners are newly crowned world champions Denmark, World Championship runners-up Sweden, and a new but very recognisable coach for North Macedonia: Kiril Lazarov.

In the EHF EURO Cup, Slovakia play their first game in the competition as they meet EHF EURO title holders Spain.


Ukraine vs Faroe Islands
Wednesday 10 March, 16:30 CET, live on EHFTV

  • this will be Faroe Islands’ first match in the EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers, while Ukraine have played twice and earned one point
  • Ukraine’s two games were in a double-header against Russia — they drew 27:27 in the first clash then recorded a 30:28 loss
  • Faroe Islands have never reached the final EHF EURO tournament. Ukraine ended a 10-year wait to participate again in 2020
  • Ukraine won all three previous encounters against Faroe Islands. The teams also met in the previous EHF EURO qualifiers stage
  • despite having just one point, Ukraine are currently second on the table due to the postponement of several matches in this group

Russia vs Czech Republic
Wednesday 10 March, 17:30 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Russia enter the game as group leaders, with three points, while Czech Republic have yet to play a game in the EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers
  • Russia took all three of their points against Ukraine, having played one draw and earned one win in their double-header played in November
  • the last encounters between the sides were in 2018 in the World Championship qualification play-off, with Russia coming out on top
  • the teams have met a total of 12 times before and the balance is overwhelmingly in favour of Russia, with 10 wins


Israel vs Iceland*
Thursday 11 March, 16:30 CET, live on EHFTV

  • with three matches played and four points earned, Iceland are in a strong position, sitting second in the group behind Portugal
  • Israel have played just one match in the EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers so far, in which they were defeated 31:22 by Portugal
  • while Israel have reached the final tournament only once, in 2002, Iceland have qualified for every EHF EURO since 2000
  • Israel have not beaten Iceland since 1981. Iceland have won three of the four encounters since then (the other saw a draw), with the latest played in 2015

*Match is postponed


Slovenia vs Poland
Tuesday 9 March, 20:10 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Poland are the group leaders, with four points, while Slovenia have three and are equal on points with the Netherlands
  • Slovenia played the Netherlands in both EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers games so far, winning the first 34:23 before a 27:27 draw in the second
  • Poland beat Turkey twice to earn their four points — 29:24 in the first clash and 35:24 in the second
  • it is the 10th official match between the sides. Slovenia have won five times, including in the EHF EURO 2020 group phase. Poland won three games and there was one draw
  • Slovenia are without backs Nik Henigman and Borut Mackovsek, who both have ankle injuries


Belarus vs Italy
Wednesday 10 March, 16:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • both teams count two points collected so far in the qualifiers, although Belarus have played two games to Italy’s three
  • Belarus played a double-header against Norway, winning the first match 33:25 before a 27:19 defeat
  • Italy lost decisively to Norway in November, 39:24, before recording one victory and one loss in a double-header against Latvia
  • the teams have not met in an official match since 2005, with the historical balance quite equal — three wins for Belarus, two for Italy and one draw
  • Belarus’ record for fewest goals scored by an opponent in a EURO qualifier match was set against Italy, with the result of 27:11 back in 2001


Finland vs Switzerland
Thursday 11 March, 17:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • neither Finland nor Switzerland have collected any points in the EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers. Both lost one game apiece against Denmark and North Macedonia
  • in January, Switzerland made a surprise return to the World Championship after last contesting the event in 1995 — the team did not qualify but replaced the USA
  • Andy Schmid was among the top scorers at the World Championship, with 44 goals in six games — fewer matches than any of those ranked above him. He netted 16 times in Switzerland’s two EHF EURO qualifiers
  • it is the first official match between Finland and Switzerland since 1998. Switzerland have won five out of six previous mutual duels
  • Finland have never reached the final tournament, while Switzerland have played a total of four EHF EUROs, with three consecutive participations from 2002 to 2006 before making it again in 2020

North Macedonia vs Denmark
Thursday 11 March, 20:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • the teams enter the clash level on four points apiece, having each defeated Switzerland and Finland. Their double-header this week will be critical in determining the group’s top positions
  • North Macedonia have never beaten Denmark in an official match, with five played prior to Thursday’s clash
  • Denmark are the recently crowned world champions, having defended their maiden title won on home ground in 2019 in Egypt in January
  • Denmark backs Mikkel Hansen and Mathias Gidsel were named in the All-star Team and Hansen was also the World Championship MVP for the second straight time
  • legendary Macedonian back Kiril Lazarov was announced as coach of his national side in February and will function as a player/coach. He is the team’s top scorer in the qualifiers, with 17 goals


Sweden vs Montenegro
Tuesday 9 March, 18:05 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Sweden took the silver medal at the World Championship in January, while Montenegro did not qualify for the event
  • Sweden players Jim Gottfridsson, Andreas Palicka and Hampus Wanne were all named in the World Championship All-star Team
  • the Scandinavian side started their EHF EURO qualifiers campaign with a narrow victory over Romania, 33:30, followed by a big win against Kosovo, 30:16
  • Montenegro also defeated Kosovo, 32:25, before losing decisively to Romania, 36:27
  • in nine previous mutual encounters, Montenegro have won only twice, including the most recent clash, in 2017

Kosovo vs Romania
Wednesday 10 March, 19:30 CET, live on EHFTV

  • this will be the debut of new Kosovo coach Bujar Qerimi, who has replaced former Australia representative Taip Ramadani
  • Kosovo have been defeated in both qualifier matches played so far, while Romania won one match and had one loss
  • Romania’s win came against Montenegro, 36:27, following a 33:30 loss to Sweden. Both matches were in November
  • Kosovo lost 32:25 to Montenegro and 30:16 to Sweden
  • Romania have won all three previous matches against Kosovo


Slovakia vs Spain
Wednesday 10 March, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • this is EHF EURO 2022 hosts Slovakia’s first match in the EHF EURO Cup
  • back-to-back EURO winners Spain enter the game following two losses in the competition — 29:32 against Hungary and 28:31 against Croatia
  • in January, Spain claimed the bronze medal at the World Championship. Right wing Ferran Sole was named in the All-star Team for the second straight World Championship
  • Slovakia did not qualify for the World Championship. The EHF EURO on home turf will be their first major championship participation since the continental event in 2021
  • back Jorge Maqueda has netted eight goals across Spain’s two EURO Cup games to be their top scorer so far

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