Norway vs. Germany / EHF Euro 2016 – We must say at the beginning that this European Championship in Poland is one of strangest in handball history as never in recent past there were so many surprises and strange results. Right these two teams have made the biggest surprises in the last round of the group phase when Norway defeated reigning champion France, while Germany outplayed current vice-champions the Danes, which prevented both handball superpowers to stay short of the semi-finals. But the Norwegians have defeated Poland and Croatia, while Germany won the Swedes and Hungarians. Reward for both of them is this semi-final and who ever reach the final it will be a sensation. The two teams met three times at big competitions and Norway won two times, while once they drew. Begins: 29.01.2016 – 18:30 CET
We had been waiting for a long time for true big refreshment in European handball and we finally got one. Norway arrived to Poland as one of biggest outsiders whose goal was to pass the first round, while now they are in the semi-final after elimination of reigning champions of Europe and world, the French. They showed their character in that match, as it was not easy to recover and get back in the game after weak draw with Macedonia, after which they were almost written-off. It was similar before matches against Croatia and Poland, but they shone each and every time and won big rivals.
All that looked especially impressive against France when they badly started the match and had a backlog of three goals. They equalised before halftime and then they did something that can hardly be expected against the French, and that is to resolve the winner in last 15 minutes of the match when the French usually play faster. Their defence was excellent; they stop opponents’ pivots, as well as Karabatic, Erevik defended excellently, while in attack right wing Tonnensen stood out this time. They are indeed the most versatile team in attack at this championship and because of that it can be said that are favourites in this match.
Probable lineups Norway: Erevik, Jondal, Lie Hansen, Sagosen, Tonnesen, Bjornsen, Myrhol
Germans are too true heroes of this championship, but not because they were total outsiders but because of fact that this team had the most problems with injuries and it came with a mixed team to Poland. It can be said without a true star or player who could be called a leader on the court. They started with defeat by Spain in the first round, but later they increased the pace and are now in a series of five wins, which is better than any other semi-finalists. They played two super-dramatic finishes and won them both, winning Sweden and Russia, while they had an easier job against Slovenia and especially Hungary.
That came be-or-not-to-be match against Denmark. Before it they lost two outside players Dissinger and Weinhold, and no one gave the much chance. They overcame all obstacle s and in very even match prevented Denmark to score in last eight minutes, when they scored 4 goals for the final 25-23. Fath and Wiede excelled from outside positions, while goalkeeper Wolff was again very good. Their fulfilled their quota for this championship and can play relaxedly the first semi-final after many years.
Probable lineups Germany: Wolff, Dahmke, Fath, Strobel, Wiede, Reichmann, Pekeler
Norway – Germany PICK
It is very hard to tell which one of the two teams will reach the final and perhaps the Norwegians are slight favourites but they can have a bad day so even weakened Germany is not without chances. The Norwegians will surely try to speed-up the match and avoid situation with few goals that characterised matches of the German team, so here we forecast a match with a bit more goals.
Pick: over 52.5 goals
Odds: 1.75 at bwin (down to 1.65 can be played)