Handball-Planet.com made prediction of the EHF EURO 2012 as one of the most relevant handball media in Europe. Enjoy our article and get ready for the fantastic event in Serbia which start in three days (15 – 29 January).
France is still the best team of the World. Fantastic combination of the strentgh and handball inteligence is something what earned them four Gold medals in a row. With recovered Accambray and Gigou, the „Experts“ are still favorite No. 1. Karabatic and Omeyer are still something „special“ for the crucial moments…
Danish system came close to the French. NT kids at the beginning og the Olympic Rounds, Hansen and Landin grew up into the TOP class players ready to make a difference among the Top Nations in 2012 (Olympic Games also). With outstanding wings quality, team-play and hard defence work, Wilbek is ready to play the second Final in a row.
Another strong team with experienced coach is able to win the medal in Serbia. Despite, they will be without Sterbik and Garabaya, coach Valero Rivera can count on many experienced players from the TOP teams – Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. Spain is covered on all positions, without the „biggest“ stars, but with all 16 players able to play and win against all the rivals.
It is a time for Serbia. Maybe they don’t have a „TOP 4 quality“ (but TOP 8 for sure), but in front of „crazy fans“ in the Serbian capital and with the tradition of home team at the biggest handball competitions, Momir Ilic, Darko Stanic, Marko Vujin and the others are very close to „catch the train“ for semifinals. Serbs are in the „weaker part“ of the Draw and that make their battle much easier. This generation playing together since 2007 with a few changes. Veselin Vukovic found very interesting solution for a playmaker, Dalibor Cutura from Ademar Leon and he can be something what the rivals didn’t expected. In Belgrade are united in opinion that the openning match against Poland is some kind of ¼ Final.
Generation Transition ih Croatian handball began with Petar Metlicic in 2009 and continue with Valcic, Zrnic and some other players, who lost their places in the NT ahead of some younger, very talented players in order to built TOP squad for the London 2012. Almost on the end of this cycle, Croatia isn’t a favorite anymore. They had a problem with a goalkeeper at WC 2011, but also, there is no „happiness“ with right backs and the winning-spirit is lost with Lino Cervar, who left the bench in 2010. Slavko Goluza’s qualities are still „under question“ and Serbia will be the perfect oportunity to give an answer…
Poland isn’t the same team from 2007 and 2009. Two ambitious project of Wisla Plock and Vive Targi Kielce brought a lot of good things to the Polish League, but maybe isn’t so good for the NT? Many of the players came home and lost that „animal instinct“, which had before in Bundesliga. Injury of Slawomir Szmal will be huge problem for Bogdan Wenta. Most of the leaders have just an „average“ first par of the season. Polish tradition is losing from the Host team as in Germany, Croatia or Sweden. They have problem to handle with that kind of pressure, but still Poland has TOP quality and experienced bunch of players.
Statements that they can play without Olafur Stefansson waiting for prove at the „crucial moments“ of the „crucial games“. For the medals, you need something more than „dry“ quality. In the tough part of the Draw, Iceland will have problem to obtain semifinal. Openning match against Croatia will be decisive, but also Spain is the rival for the „Belgrade VISA“. Possible absence of another important player, Snori Gudjonsson would be a serious blow for Icelanders…
Sweden took advantage of home-court and play in the WC 2011 semifinal, but they don’t have quality to repeat that. The things went even worst, when they stayed without Jonas Kalman (very important defensive role) and maybe the best attacker, Oscar Carlen (two of three best scorer at WC 2011). Sweden has quite good chances in Preliminary Round but after crossing with Belgrade’s group, Andersson and Co will stop to dreaming…
A new coach, Martin Heuberger and „16 Rescuers“ of Bundesliga don’t have a quality to play some bigger role in Serbia. With outstanding wing, Uwe Gensheimer and possible star, Silivio Heinevetter, but with „poor“ playmaker line, average line players, no team-spirit and with a lot of pressure according to Olympic Games ambition, Germans will be just a team from the Main Round…
„No Stars“ team playing very good in the last year. Lajos Mocsai has that luck that most of the players coming form MKB Veszprem and Pick Szeged. Hungary will play with no pressure, because Olympic qualification VISA is taken in Sweden. With a thousands of their fans in Novi Sad, Hungary will be „hard task“ for all the oponnents…
Creative Zorman and Spiler, good wings and goalkeepers, fighting spirit on the highest level. That is a definition of the Boris Denic team. Main Round is for Slovenia big achievement and reality. More than 1300 fans will help them to take some point from Vrsac to Novi Sad, but decisive match will be against Norway.
Macedonian invasion on Nis is ready. More than 3000 fans will come from Skopje to Nis in one-day journeys. As in Croatia 2009, Macedonians will flying on the wings of the support and probably that will be enough for Czech Republic. It will be interesting to see them in the Hall, but also, outside…