04/12/2020

Hosts and title holders eye winning start

GROUP A PREVIEW: France and Denmark will look to start the EHF EURO 2020 on a high, as they face Montenegro and Slovenia in Herning

France faced Montenegro in the group phase at EHF EURO 2018. Photo © Uros Hocevar / kolektiff

France and Denmark are two sides that have their sights firmly set on a medal at the EHF EURO 2020, and they will be looking to throw off the tournament with flawless performances.

Two years ago, the French side lost their first game at the EHF EURO 2018, but went on to win the tournament. This time coach Olivier Krumbholz has preached caution and attention for France not to repeat their negative start.

With Slovenia boasting the current DELO EHF Champions League top scorer, Ana Gros, in their ranks, Denmark will need to find a way to stop her.

GROUP A

France vs Montenegro
Friday 4 December, 18:15 CET, live on EHFTV

  • French left wing Siraba Dembele Pavlovic will play her 47th match at the EHF EURO, jumping to third place in the all-time stats of matches played
  • goalkeeper Amandine Leynaud joined the national team last Sunday and will make her comeback for France one year after her last game at the IHF Women’s World Championship
  • Montenegro will miss influential playmaker Milena Raicevic, as the 30-year old Buducnost centre back is pregnant
  • Danish coach Kim Rasmussen will make his debut for the Montenegrin national team, after replacing Per Johansson only 10 days before the start of the tournament
  • France have won all three games played against Montenegro at the EHF EURO, most recently a 25:20 win in the group phase two years ago

Olivier Krumbholz, coach, France: “In the last four tournaments, including the EHF EURO 2018, which we won, we lost the first game three times. So it is of the utmost importance to start well. The schedule of the competition will not allow us the slightest misstep. The ambition is still there so we want to win.”

Kim Rasmussen, coach, Montenegro: “I look forward to leading Montenegro in this European championship. I have played a lot of times against them and I always admired the heart they play with. We trained well and we have prepared a few surprises, but I know one thing, that nothing can take the fighting spirit out of this team.”

Denmark vs Slovenia
Friday 4 December, 20:30 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Team Esbjerg’s coach, Jesper Jensen, will make his competitive debut for Denmark at the EHF EURO 2020, after losing the first two friendly games against Norway last week
  • Slovenia boast a superb back line, with DELO EHF Champions League top goal scorer, Ana Gros, Metz left back Tjaša Stanko, and CSM centre back Elizabeth Omoregie
  • Denmark threw off five of the past six EHF EURO tournaments with a win in the group phase, the only exception being 2012, when they lost against Sweden
  • the Slovenian team failed to progress to the main round in the past four EHF EURO tournaments they played in
  • the two sides have never met at the EHF EURO, but Denmark won three of the four games between the two sides, most recently two wins in the EHF EURO 2018 qualification

Anne Mette Hansen, left back, Denmark: “It is just cool that we can play this tournament with all these efforts and it is something nice for everybody and something that can bring Denmark together.”

Uroš Bregar, coach, Slovenia: “We have a number of minor injuries in our team. But I hope everything will probably work out. It gives some problems during training sessions, but I still believe that we can deliver a good performance.”

written by Adrian Costeiu / jh