Poland vs. Norway / Handball World Cup – This is a duel between two European teams for whom it is hard to say what they can show at this World Cup in France. The Poles have had more success in previous years and this team won third place at the last World Cup in Qatar two years ago, while they were fourth last year at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and they failed at last year’s European Championship which they hosted. Norway is mainly passing through major competitions, but they shone at last year’s European Championship in Poland when they finished in fourth place, while they did not participate in the previous two World Cups, as well as at the Olympic Games. Both teams were bad at the opening of the qualifiers for the next European Championship and Poland has suffered two defeats, while Norway won once and lost once. The last mutual duel that they played was at the European Championship 2016, when then Norway surprised the Poles at home with 30:28. Begins: 12.01.2017. – 20:45 CET
The Poles were the vice-champions of the world in 2007, and then they were third several times, including past championship in Qatar. They had great expectations from the European Championship last year, but they experienced the incomprehensible defeat by Croatia and therefore completed the challenge in the second group stage. They managed to respond to the Croats at the Olympic Games in Brazil and defeated them in the quarter-finals, but then lost the semi-finals by Denmark and then also the match for third place against Germany. They lost the medal, however, the biggest problem for this team is that they have lost the first two matches in qualifiers for the next European Championship, while they were very bad and played friendly matches before this championship.
There are good reasons for all of this, because if we look for the team that was very weakened before the World Cup in France, that is definitely the team of Poland. Goalkeeper Szmal, left-handed bomber Bielecki, and right bask K. Lijewski have all said goodbye to the national team. Their best player M.Jurecki was absent due to injury, as well as pivot Barcelona Syprzak and goalkeeper Lemga Wyszomirski. The question is who is left in the team to play, and their only hopes for this match are wing Krajewski, who can play both the center back, and Daszek, Chrapkowski and experienced Jurkiewicz.
Probable lineups Poland: Morawski, Krajewski, Chrapkowski, Jurkiewicz, Paczkowski, Daszek, M.Gebala
Norwegians were in great mood when they came to this championship, because they were weaker than Slovenia in two duels the playoffs, and they later received a special invitation, so we will still watch them in France. Perhaps that is a good thing, because this team a year ago played its best major tournament, the European Championship is in Poland. They reached the semi-finals where they were equal to the later winner Germany, but lost the match after extra time. They broke down in the fight for third place and slowly lost to Croatia, while they did not participate in the Olympic Games in Rio, nor in the two previous world championships.
And when they come to the world festival, they usually do not do anything special, and now they want to change that. The fact that they lost to weak Lithuania in qualifiers for the next European Championship does not sound very encouraging, as well as two defeats by Sweden in friendly matches before the championship. However, the good thing is that they are almost in the same composition as they were at the European Championship a year ago when they played the semi-finals. The right back Reinkind was written off in the last minute, but the majority of the remaining powers is there and can be unpleasant.
Probable lineups Norway: Erevik, Jondal, Lie Hansen, Sagosen, Tonnesen, Bjorndal, Myrhol
Poland vs. Norway PICK
Under normal circumstances, Poland would be a favourite in this match, however, Norway defeated the Poles at home at the last major tournament, when they were in a much more powerful composition. Now Poland is weakened and they do not have a team that could parry the almost complete Norwegians.
Pick: Norway -3.5
Odds: 1.67 at bwin (down to 1.57 can be played)