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dinamo67
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We have Belarus, Serbia and Montenegro in our group. Should go through quite easily. We start with Montenegro tomorrow. Group phase is in Graz which suits us. More Cros in Graz.

Other than last year where we came 5th we've consistently come between 2nd and 4th at the Euros. I just want that damn gold lol. I consider our handball team to be the most frustrating NT to follow. We always seem to peak early and beat some good teams until the semis and we fall short.
 

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Don't get your hopes up...the squad is too thin for a medal...

Marin Šego (GK, 34, 194cm, Mostar)
Matej Ašanin (GK, 26, 203cm, Zagreb)
Valentino Ravnić (LW, 24, 190cm, Zadar)
David Mandić (LW, 22, 187cm, Ljubuški)
Vlado Matanović (RW, 24, 182cm, Rijeka)
Zlatko Horvat (RW, 35, 179cm, Zagreb)
Josip Šarac (LB, 21, 201cm, Ljubuški)
Marko Mamić (LB, 25, 200cm, Zagreb)
Matej Hrstić (LB, 23, 197cm, Ljubuški)
Luka Stepančić (RB, 29, 201cm, Pula)
Luka Cindrić (CB, 26, 182cm, Ogulin)
Igor Karačić (CB, 31, 189cm, Mostar)
Domagoj Duvnjak (CB, 31, 197cm, Đakovo)
Željko Musa (P, 34, 200cm, Mostar)
Marino Marić (P, 29, 196cm, Mostar)
Marin Šipić (P, 23, 190cm, Sinj)

Almost half the squad is 25 or under...we have two genuine stars in Cindrić and Duvnjak and they play the same position...no outstanding defensive specialists...our wings are weak, Horvat was a great player in his prime but is old...our keepers are average and they're the most important late in tourneys...our pivots are solid but not half the quality of a legend like Vori...definitely a transition phase...

I'm guessing the attacking line up will be:

Šego - Horvat, Mandić - Stepančić, Cindrić, Duvnjak - Marić.

Karačić and Musa will come in on defence. Mamić and the two reserve wingers will play decent minutes.

But like I said, very thin.
 

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It is a decent line-up and maybe you can throw Karačić in as our third big name...problem is this tournament is tough...Sweden and Norway are hosting, Denmark is playing in its own neighbourhood , France is France...

I suppose good thing for us is we avoid all of those teams until the semis...we'll end up in the 2nd phase with Spain and Germany as our main rivals for a spot in the medal round.


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dinamo67
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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah that loss to Portugal was quite the upset. They going through a transition phase or just not playing well? One less team to worry about though which is great.
 

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Yeah, they must be...Karabatić, Abalo, Sorhaindo and Guigou are still playing in their mid-30s...pretty much rest of the squad is really young guys and and others who have been bench options in recent years...

Our path to the semis is clear-cut...win the two "easier" games (Austria and Czech Rep/Macedonia) and beat Germany...that gives us second spot guaranteed...

A scenario where we lose to Germany but beat the others, including Spain, means it will come down to GD with us, ESP and GER.

Obviously, a kiks against the weaker teams will make it very difficult. I'm tipping Austria will give us some trouble, they look the most likely to be that banana peel.

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Denmark held to a draw against Hungary...the Magyars face Iceland in the final game and a draw or HUN win means the Danes are out...would be another of the favourites gone before the prelim round...even if they do get through they won't be carrying any points over so semis for them are going to be difficult...

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Our tourney record...

2 Olympic titles
1 WC title

3-time WC runners-up
2-time EC runners-up

1 Olympic bronze
1 WC bronze
3 EC bronze

18 times have reached the semi-finals or better in major tournaments

BRONZE - 1994 EC (Sweden winner)
SILVER - 1995 WC (France)
5th - 1996 EC (Russia)
GOLD - 1996 OG
13th - 1997 WC (Russia)
8th - 1998 EC (Sweden)
10th - 1999 WC (Sweden)
6th - 2000 EC (Sweden)
Did not qualify - 2000 OG (Russia)
9th - 2001 WC (France)
16th - 2002 EC (Sweden)
GOLD - 2003 WC
4th - 2004 EC (Germany)
GOLD - 2004 OG
SILVER - 2005 WC (Spain)
4th - 2006 EC (France)
5th - 2007 WC (Germany)
SILVER - 2008 EC (Denmark)
4th - 2008 OG (France)
SILVER - 2009 WC (France)
SILVER - 2010 EC (France)
5th - 2011 WC (France)
BRONZE - 2012 EC (Denmark)
BRONZE - 2012 OG (France)
BRONZE - 2013 WC (Spain)
4th - 2014 EC (France)
6th - 2015 WC (France)
BRONZE - 2016 EC (Germany)
5th - 2016 OG (Denmark)
4th - 2017 WC (France)
5th - 2018 EC (Spain)
6th - 2019 WC (Denmark)

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I was a bit surprised to see that only four different nations have won something since 2004...thought Sweden and Russia had won more recently...

We have a good level of consistency but we've been on a slow downward trajectory for 15 years...teams like Germany, Denmark and Spain space out their wins...they have bigger drops than we do but snag the odd title.

We should've won in 2005, I remember we were massive favourites against Spain, beat them in the group then in the final they had one of those days where everything went for them. Of course, from that point on the French dominated us and everyone else.

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Do you guys think that gold is possible in this tourney?
I just read few articles telling that we had big players not involved and some others injured so i thought that we would have a hard time.

But it seems we started well...

This team can beat the best teams on a good day?
 

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Do you guys think that gold is possible in this tourney?
I just read few articles telling that we had big players not involved and some others injured so i thought that we would have a hard time.

But it seems we started well...

This team can beat the best teams on a good day?
Going in I thought we were no chance for a medal...too many players are out and we haven't been really challenging for gold in recent years anyway...anyone who has followed the team in tournaments will notice the absence of Stevanović, Gojun, Čupić (all retired recently), Kopljar, Štrlek...hard to replace them in 1-2 seasons.

I still don't think we can win gold but some of the big teams are struggling (France already out) and our side of the draw was favourable so things are panning out for us. This being an Olympic year generally means the EC is a little bit more experimental for most teams. A lot of the bigger teams, like us, are weakened and/or phasing in some younger players so missing some good players isn't as much of a handicap.

Problem is we've done this a few times recently...get off to a great start then unravel in one game...and to be fair our group was very soft...we play Austria on Thursday and I think it's going to be a lot more difficult than some people expect...but if we do win all we need to do is beat Germany in the next game and we're through to the semis (with another 2 prelim round games to go)...

I think even on our best day beating Denmark will be difficult...and I think Sweden at home is also going to be very difficult...I I think for the rest if we can play at 100% we win.

One step at a time. Červar won the WC in 2003 when the team was written off so I'm hoping for a repeat. :D

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