Denmark vs Russia by 20Legend
The Golden League cup will be played in Denmark and includes Norway, France and Russia in a mini tournament. The Danish team takes this tournament very seriously as they did not qualify for the Olympics in Rio earlier this summer. This is therefore a golden opportunity for the team to build up some confidence towards the European Championship in two months. Denmark has a strong squad at place with Anne Mette Hansen being their only absence during this first game.
Russia won the Olympic tournament in Rio after beating France in the final. It has been a fantastic summer for the Russian team, but they are sending their best squad to this tournament though. Their two best goalkeepers Sedoyikina and Yerokhina are not included which is a clear sign of a lower priority in Golden League from the Russians. In addition, left-back Olga Akopyan and Irina Bliznova are not included either. There are therefore some youngsters that have made the squad with the promising Antonina Skorobogatchenko as a great example. The rumors are going about the 17-year old starting the game tonight, but it is not confirmed.
Denmark is playing at home and this is their toughest game in the tournament with both France and Norway sending weaker squads than usual. The Russians has also brought some new and younger players which brings the motivation to Denmark in my opinion having a stronger squad available. The Russians know where they stand at the moment with the recent gold medal in Rio and will probably rotate in this match. On the other hand, Denmark must prioritize getting their team settled as the European Championship is only two months away. I believe that Denmark must take this opportunity to build confidence with a younger version of Russia compared to what is waiting in two months. It has to be mentioned that Russia’s depth is very strong when it comes to handball, but the team is weakened in more positions with fresh players getting the chance. The value should be on Denmark’s side here and the odds are making that clear. I chose to take a lower risk by giving them a handicap as well which still offers a nice value in my opinion.