Netherlands vs Germany (Handball) by 20Legend
Netherlands qualified to this tournament by winning their group during the qualification. They have another exciting generation that has been established a couple of years back. This team has showed what they are capable of by taking the 2nd place in the World Championship in Denmark a year ago. Their coach Henk Groener decided to step out already before Christmas even if the plan was to stay until after this championship. Helle Thomsen came in at an earlier stage with the reason being that she could get more time on focusing for the upcoming tournament here.
As mentioned, this team has a wide selection of great players led by one of the world’s best playmakers; Nicky Groot. If you mention Estavana Polman as well, it is not difficult to give Netherlands optimistic chances here. Netherlands has been one of the teams that you could trust about getting through the group stage in the past two tournaments and this is no exception. The group is to their advantage and the road is also open when it comes to fighting for a place in the semifinals. Other than the individual quality on each player, they are also a team that enjoys playing with a high tempo that will make it tough for the opponents to keep up. They can certainly advance from this group as they for instance face a German team with injury-problems and a Polish team that struggles with quick feet.
Germany qualified for the tournament by finishing 2nd in the same group as France. Germany has not been successful for the last 10 years, with 2007 being the last year when they took a medal. They have used the years on building up a new team with younger players, with the aim being the World Championship in Germany next year. The former coach for the Polish men’s national team, Michael Biegler, has been hired to lead Germany in this tournament. He did step out from the Polish team after horrible results in the Euros during January this year.
Germany has quite a few players out to this tournament and the team is definitely weaker on paper. The key for Germany to advance from this group will have to be their goaltender Clara Woltering. She has to be at her very best as the team should not be able to any further than a possible main round.
Netherlands are heading into this tournament as a strong contender for a top 3 and maybe even reaching the final. They have a strong team in all positions and their young squad have already played through two major tournaments together and knows each other well. Germany is on the other end right now with some important missing in a team that is being set to achieve glory at home next year. I think that Netherlands will set the bar high and be too strong in both halves tonight by taking Netherlands to lead halftime/Full time.