Germany vs. Croatia / Handball World Cup – This is another match in the last round of group stage of the Handball World Cup, which decides on the first place. In this case, the rivals have the same number of points, eight, which means that they so far made all four wins. Germany was achieving convincing victories and that is why they are first and will stay there if the game ends in a draw. Croatia needs a victory, although there is a possibility for calculations, because the first place does not really have to mean an easier path in the competition. The Germans have so far struggled the most in the last round when they broke the resistance of Belarus in the second half, while Croatia also had some problems with that team, and especially Hungary. Both teams played at last year's Olympics and Germany reached the semi-finals, while Croatia lost in the quarterfinals. Their last mutual game was played at the World Cup two years ago, when Croatia celebrated with 28:23. Begins: 20.01.2017. – 17:45 CET
The current European champion is routinely playing the current part of the championship without any wrong steps, and except for Belarus in the first half, and no one has made even more serious problems. They even mastered easily Hungary in the first round, although they were at the beginning of the second half threatened after the Germans had safe five goals difference. In the end they celebrated without suspense and then they also made two very persuasive victories over Chile and Saudi Arabia, until the aforementioned match against Belarus. They have struggled in the first part and were even losing, and 16:16 at half-time show that there was no real defence.
At the beginning of the second part, they started playing with determination and resolved it all in only ten minutes, when they had six points differences. They received only nine goals in the second part and that was the key to victory. The biggest story in the team of Germany is certainly Uwe Gensheimer, who came to play despite the death of his father, and not only came, but he was also the best and most efficient player. Groetzki was very good at the right wing, while the rest are oscillating, although we should mention excellent performances by Drux, Fath and Kuhn against Belarus, and Hafner against Hungary. We are all still waiting for goalkeeper Wolff to start defending better.
Probable lineups Germany: Heinevetter, Gensheimer, Fath, Drux, Hafner, Groetzki, Wiencek
Croatia has a maximum of four wins, however, they still have not showed with their game that this changed setup is ready for great achievements. This match could show a little more, but that was also the case with a match against Hungary, when they had a bad start with four goals behind, and then equalized with a series in the finish of the first part. They have created a complete turnaround he second part and in the end celebrated routinely with 31:28. Something similar happened in the match against Belarus, when they broke their rivals' resistance in the last 15 minutes and again celebrated routinely with 31:25.
It is particularly interesting that they even had some problems with Saudi Arabia but only Chile was totally outplayed and outclassed in the last round, when they rested most of the key players. They had a lot of problems before the arrival in France and some of their important players did not come, while the best of all, Duvnjak, came insufficiently recovered. Therefore, he did not get a lot of time on the court, but the center-back Cindric exploded in that position and he is the best one so far, while Duvnjak comes in only when they are in trouble. The wings are good as usual, and they can relly on Strlek and Horvat, while the others are still expected to show more.
Probable lineups Croatia: Ivic, Strlek, Mamic, Cindric, Stepancic, Horvat, Musa
Germany vs. Croatia PICK
This is the fight for first place, but it is not as important and the best matches are yet to come for both teams. Therefore, there would be no big fight in this duel and somehow it seems that the offensive game will come to the fore and that we will see a lot of goals.
Pick: over 54.5 goals
Odds: 1.90 at betvictor (down to 1.80 can be played)