Sweden vs. Norway / European Handball Cup – Sweden is more successful than Norway this time, and the Swedes seem to be the only one that will find themselves in the semi-finals, while Norway is no longer among the four best European teams. The Norwegians have three victories, and both defeats against the strong rivals, France and Croatia, and are therefore without chances. Sweden also lost two matches, but they defeated Croatia, and defeat from Iceland was painless, so with a triumph in this round they had a chance for semi-finals. Norway and Sweden have not met in big competitions for ten years. Begins: 24.01.2018. – 18:15 CET
When we consider all, Sweden played two very bad matches at this championship, and they played one maestrally, while they remained on average and could get a pass rating. They were bad at the start against Iceland, but later that team was eliminated, so defeat meant nothing. That is why they should not have lost to France at the opening of the second round of the competition when they were unrecognizable in the attack and simply did not have solutions to defend the current world champions, which is evidenced the best by their 17 goals scored.
In the end they have suffered a defeat of six goals difference, but with a little more concretion in the finish, it could have been less, which would now significantly improve the odds for placement in the semi-finals. The best match they played was definitely the one against Croatia at the end of the first stage, but then they also had nine goals in the lead and they celebrated with four. It is very possible that the goal difference will determine everything, of course, if the Swedes defeat Norway and have something to regret.
Probable lineups Sweden: Appelgren, Tollbring, Jeppson, Gottfridsson, Lagergren, Ekberg, J.Nielsen
The Norwegians will not repeat the success of last year's World Cup, but the culprit is the team they have defeated in the semi-finals of the competition. That duel against Croatia in the last round was crucial for the Norwegians, since they lost their first group stage at the start of France, so they no longer had any rights to make a mistake. They hoped they could overcome Croatia again, but it did not help them that they have imposed their fast style of play and that the game was played on a large number of goals.
The goalkeepers have failed completely and this is one of the reasons for defeat. The center back-court Sagosen was again the first name of the team, followed by the right wing Bjornsen and it is important to say that only eight players managed to score. It is known that the Norwegians do not have a long bench, however, four have not even entered the game and that is always a problem when playing at a fast pace. Now they are playing for better placement at the end and must therefore spoil the plans of their neighbours from Sweden.
Probable lineups Norway: Bergerud, Jondal, Johannessen, Sagosen, Tonnesen, Bjornsen, Myrhol
Sweden vs. Norway PICK
This game is much more important for Sweden, but that does not mean that the Norwegians will just give up. They will certainly play again in their own way, very quickly and efficiently, and Sweden will have to adjust to this kind of game, so we expect them to achieve a lot of goals in this duel.
Pick: over 54.5 goals
Odds: 1.78 at bet365 (down to 1.68 can be played)
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