08/12/2020

Top defences clash in sparkling group finale

GROUP A PREVIEW: Title-holders France and hosts Denmark clash in the battle of the unbeaten teams in the group, while Montenegro and Slovenia face off with a main round berth on the table

Denmark's defence will be critical against France. Photo © Anze Malovrh / kolektiff

Every second will count in the last two games in group A, albeit for different reasons.

The first clash in the Jyske Bank BOXEN in Herning will feature Montenegro and Slovenia, as the two sides who lost both of their first two games will battle for a place in the main round of the competition.

While France and Denmark may already be through, the match is still of the utmost importance, with both sides taking the points they earned against qualified teams in the main round of the competition.

GROUP A

Montenegro vs Slovenia
Tuesday 9 December, 18:15 CET, live on EHFTV

  • with a superior goal difference, Montenegro need a win or draw against Slovenia to proceed to the main round
  • in their five EHF EURO participations, Montenegro have always progressed to the main round, while Slovenia have not passed the group phase since 2004
  • currently riding a three-game losing streak, Montenegro will break their record for the worst losing run, set in 2014, if Slovenia win on Tuesday
  • the two sides have the weakest attacks in the EHF EURO 2020, with Montenegro scoring 42 goals in their first two games, while Slovenia scored only 40; Montenegro (50 per cent attacking efficiency) and Slovenia (47 per cent) are also bottom of that ranking
  • Montenegro have won all four games played against Slovenia, including a 36:32 win in the group phase of the EHF EURO 2018

Kim Rasmussen, Montenegro coach: “We need to get ourselves together, but we need to get back on our feet, after the painful defeat against Denmark. We know how to play good handball, we will be ready for the next game."

Barbara Lazović, Slovenia right back: “If we want to beat Montenegro and proceed to the main round, we have to be better. We have to improve our game, especially in attack.”

France vs Denmark
Tuesday 9 December, 20:30 CET, live on EHFTV

  • France (40 goals) and Denmark (42 goals) have conceded the lowest number of goals at the EHF EURO 2020 after two games, making them the best defences in the competition
  • the French side will tie their best-ever winning streak in the EHF EURO – six games – if they win against the hosts on Tuesday
  • this will be France’s 70th game at the EHF EURO, a feature only achieved by other six teams in history. Denmark have played 92 games, winning 60 of them, for a winning percentage of 65.2 per cent
  • Siraba Dembélé Pavlovic will become the second most capped player in the history of the EHF EURO, with 49 matches, only three shy of the record holder, Karoline Dyhre Breivang
  • Denmark hold the advantage in competitive games played against France, winning 12 of their 19 mutual games, but have won only four in seven at the EHF EURO; France won the last two EURO clashes

Olivier Krumbholz, France coach: "We know Denmark very well, we played against them a lot of times. They are a good team, linking up good with the line player, also boasting very good backs. But we also saw that a good French team is now finally back."

Mie Højlund, Denmark left back: "We know they have a very good defence, so I think we can beat them with our speed and fast breaks. But we also have to rely on our powerful shots from our backs."

written by Adrian Costeiu / jh