France vs Poland (Handball) by 20Legend
France qualified to the tournament in style by winging all six games during the group stage as Germany was a part of. The French team impressed a lot during the Olympic Games in Rio this summer, by taking a strong silver medal after losing to a strong Russian team in the final.
France has an exciting team that is surely based on a lot of physical strength and strong defensive play. The team is functioning as a solid unit, but they have also players that can stand out and create the little extra. However, their biggest struggle has been their attacking play as the offensive players giving various performances from one game to another. That is the main reason why France has not won more medals.
France should definitely be able to fight for a place in the semifinal, as the success during the Olypics should have given them some extra self-confidence.
Poland managed to get to this tournament by finishing in 2nd place in their qualification. Their Danish coach Kim Rasmussen has transformed this team for the last years. He is the man behind the team’s success as he has created continuity, with the team reaching the semifinal in both the World Championship back in 2013 and 2015. However, Rasmussen decided to leave the team back in September as he wanted to coach the Hungarian women’s team. Leszek Krowicki came in and he would be pleased to know that Alina Wojtas is back in the team after missing last year’s WC. Wojtas is not in top shape yet, but will be an important figure to this team. However, a major loss is that their biggest profile, Karolina Kudlacz is missing through an injury.
Poland has showed that you can achieve a lot of great things with staying together as a strong unit and work hard, but it will be difficult to do with Kudlacz out and Wojtas not being at her best. It should therefore be a tough task to advance from this group for them. France on the other side has great confidence with them and a solid defensive style that should be tough to break down. However, they must be able to get their offensive play going as well if a semifinal should be the goal. I expect France to take charge here and lead the game from start to finish. I also expect Poland to struggle on scoring lots of goals with injuries and the defensive strength that France has to offer. Poland to score less than 21.5 goals is an interesting scenario.