Handball WM 2017: Einstimmung auf die Partien im Viertelfinale

Nikola Karabatic (Frankreich) - Handball WM 2017: Einstimmung auf die Partien im Viertelfinale - Foto: France Handball
Nikola Karabatic (Frankreich) – Handball WM 2017: Einstimmung auf die Partien im Viertelfinale – Foto: France Handball

Handball WM 2017 Frankreich – Viertelfinale: Noch drei Spiele bis zum Weltmeisterschafts-Titel. Nachdem Deutschlands bad boys sowie Olympiasieger Dänemark bereits im Achtelfinale die Segel streichen mussten, stehen nun die weiteren Top-Favoriten Frankreich und Spanien in spannenden Begegnungen gegen Schweden und Kroatien auf dem Prüfstand. Oder kommen sogar die „Favoriten-Bezwinger“ Katar und Ungarn ins Semifinale? Das WM-Fieber steigt weiter.

Live aus Paris: SPORT4FINAL-Redakteur Frank Zepp.

23.01.2017 – SPORT4FINAL / Frank Zepp:

Handball WM 2017 Frankreich: 

17:00 Albertville, Halle Olympique: Norway vs. Hungary

Head-to-heads

Norway and Hungary already played each other five times in a World Championship, but never in a knock-out match. Norway won the first head-to-head in 1958 (23:21), and then lost the four other ones in 1967 (15:11), 1999 (31:24), 2007 (25:22) and 2011 (26:23). More recently, these two teams drew (26:26) during the first round of the 2014 EURO in Denmark and also played two friendly matches in January 2015, before last World Championship in Qatar. Norway won twice (28:26 and 31:27) and are unbeaten for four games against Hungary.

France 2017 ambassador and 1995 world champion Philippe Gardent gives his throughs on the tie…

„Hungary are a small surprise because they’re not in the habit of creating upsets. But I don’t know if it’s really a big upset, because seeing Hungary so low for so long was not normal, as they have many good players. With the quality of their roster, it’s pretty logical that they are in the quarter-finals. But I don’t know if they will be able to play two very good matches in a row. If Mikler repeats his excellent performance, it will surely help them against the Norwegian team. Norway are were they belong, I think, when you look at what they are doing for the past years. They really are maturing as a team, whereas before they were a surprise. Now, they’re a team which is finding its feet at a high level and confirming its standing. Their game is very pleasant to watch, I thought they were very good against France.“

19:00 Lille Métropole, stade Pierre-Mauroy: France vs. Sweden

Head-to-heads

Proof that these two teams can’t be separated, is in the last five match-ups which all ended in a plus three-goal difference or less. The last one, at the last World Championship in Qatar in 2015, saw France winning 27:25 whereas the one before, Sweden won 27:25. Over the course of the last twenty years, France have won eight times and Sweden six in official competitions.

France 2017 ambassador and 1995 world champion Philippe Gardent gives his throughs on the tie…

„It’s certainly the ‚final that should have been‘, maybe the toughest match the French team will play in this World Championship. I share the general view that Sweden have made a very big impression since the beginning of the tournament. The players are talking about the good atmosphere in the squad, but it’s more than that. Their quality of play makes them the most pleasant team to watch since the beginning of the World Championship, with their strong defence and their remarkable transition game. But I don’t think they will beat the French team, because of their youth. If France get physical, they will suffer.“

Valero Rivera (Spanien) - Handball WM 2017: Einstimmung auf die Partien im Viertelfinale - Foto: France Handball
Valero Rivera (Spanien) – Handball WM 2017: Einstimmung auf die Partien im Viertelfinale – Foto: France Handball

20:45 Montpellier, l’Arena: Spain vs. Croatia

Head-to-heads

On the paper, it is the top match of the quarter-finals at France 2017. The 2003 World Champions Croatia face the 2005 and 2013 World Champions Spain for a spot in the semi-finals and the ticket to Paris. The last time, both sides faced in a crucial match was the EURO 2016 semi-final, when Spain had the upper hand winning 33:29. Two years before this, Spain took the bronze medal at the EURO in Denmark with a 29:28 win in the bronze medal match against the Croatians.

France 2017 ambassador and 1995 world champion Philippe Gardent gives his throughs on the tie…

“I don’t think one of these teams will make it to the final. The Spanish really miss an “impact player” in the back court. Entrerrios, Sarmiento, Gurbindo and Iosu Goni Leoz, to be honest, aren’t clutch players. Canellas can assume this role but at the end of the competition, he’s always tired. The Croatians, always look good but never seem to win when it counts. They are able to reach the semi-finals, but then it will be too hard for them.”

20:45 Paris, AccorHotels Arena: Slovenia vs. Qatar

Head-to-heads

Since their first appearance at a World Championship in 2003, Qatar have faced Slovenia only once. It was in January 2015, during the first round of their home World Championship, where both teams were placed in Group A. Valero Rivera’s team won 31:29, confirming their great ambitions following the naturalisation of several players. Rafael Capote was already there and was unstoppable (12/17). Jure Dolenec as well (8 goals) for Slovenia.

France 2017 ambassador and 1995 world champion Philippe Gardent gives his throughs on the tie…

„It’s a fight between two opposing styles. One is based on speed, well organised for the Slovenes, especially in attack where they play in motion, with a lot of combinations. On the other hand, Qatar is playing a game much more physical. Are the Qataris able to move forward in this tournament? Yes, in my opinion they will be boosted by the win against Germany. For the Slovenians, it’s all or nothing. If the Slovenians are on a good day, Qatar are in danger.“

Kommentar verfassen