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Spain vs Sweden 28.01.2018. – European Handball Cup (finals)

Spain vs. Sweden / European Handball Cup (finals) – This is definitely an unexpected finals, even though both teams have really high quality and belong to the European top. They did not expect the finals, because some other teams were better, and they were the outsiders in the semi-finals. Spain has made a big surprise, and they pretty convincingly defeated France, while the Swedes in the Scandinavian duel and after the real drama defeated the favoured Denmark. Spain has lost two duels in the group stage, while the Swedes were defeated three times, and the last duel between them was played in the previous European Cup when Spain celebrated with 24:22. Begins: 28.01.2018. – 20:30 CET

Spain

Spain is always among the favourites to win trophies at big tournaments, but they came to this championship in a somewhat changed team and they were not expected to reach the finals. They played some matches rather weakly, first and foremost their duel with Slovenia when they were fully outplayed and only in that match the otherwise excellent defence played very poorly. Only in that match they received more than 30 goals and lost quite convincingly in that match, and were also mastered by Denmark.

Neither of these two duels had a big importance, as it was the case with the match against Germany and Spain was really great in the second half, when they again gained unbeatable advantage and revenged the Germans for that defeat in the finals two years ago. A special story is the semi-duel with strong France, which they have completely broken, which is really difficult to do. Again the defence was in great mood, so at one point they even had eight goals difference. They could not count on their goalkeeper de Vargas, but they invited veteran Sterbik, who defended even three penalties and destroyed their opponent psychologically.

Probable lineups Spain: Corrales, Rivera, R.Entrerrios, Sarmiento, Gurbindo, Sole, Aguinagalde

Sweden

The Swedes objectively had an easier task in the semi-finals, but they are still the heroes of this championship, because they have lost even three handball players from the outside line before this semi-final match. The injuries have taken its toll and they lost both Larger and Jakobsson on the right back-court, and right wing Zachrisson had to play in that position, but he was great with eight goals scored and a very good percentage of the shot. Jeppson was absent on the left back-court, but Arsenal has replaced him on that position, who until now did not get the chance, but he proved to be a big hit and he scored six goals, with just one failure and he was the scorer of a decisive goal.

The real leader of this team Gottfridsson was also on the level, but the real hero of this victory was goalkeeper Palicka with impressive 20 defences. As far as the game itself, they were constantly in the lead, and then little was missing to lose, because they dropped three goals in the last two minutes. But then they showed their character, they did not break in extensions, which might have been expected and they are deservedly in the final.

Probable lineups Sweden: Palicka, Wanne, Arnesson, Gottfridsson, Zachrisson, Ekberg, J.Nielsen

Spain vs. Sweden PICK

Spain has the role of favourites in this finals, mainly because of the big problems with injuries that the Swedes currently have, but also because they defeated the strong French in the semi-finals. However, Sweden can also be very unpleasant because they have excellent goalkeepers, while Spain plays tough in defence. That is why we forecast the finals with a lesser number of goals.

Pick: under 53.5 goals

Stake: 5/10

Odds: 1.67 at unibet (down to 1.57 can be played)

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