EHF Team Week preview: seven SEHA countries in action

EHF Team Week

SEHA countries will be in action during the qualification period for the EHF Euro 2020 in Austria, Norway and Sweden. The biggest match will definitely be between the rivals Croatia and Serbia, who play two matches in Belgrade and Zadar. North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania, Slovakia and Belarus will also play very important matches.

Croatia started the qualifications in October, with two wins, one against Switzerland and one versus Belgium. This time, Lino Cervar faces injury troubles with team selection, particularly with key players Zlatko Horvat and Luka Cindric. However, both Serbia and Croatia will be quite strong, with a lot of SEHA – Gazprom League players on both sides. PPD Zagreb and Nexe will be represented by four players from each club. Mandic, Vekic, Srsen, Bozic Pavletic from PPD Zagreb and Jaganjac, Sipic, Gadza and Vida from Nexe. Igor Karacic is also on the list for Croatia. On the other hand, Karacic’s teammate from Vardar, Dejan Milosavljev will be one of the leaders of the Serbian team. Three other SEHA players are in the national team, Nemanja Zivkovic from Zeleznicar 1949, Stefan Vujic from Steaua and the youngster Jovica Nikolic from Vojvodina. The matches are scheduled for 11th and 14th of April.

North Macedonia will play Iceland twice, at the official start in the post-Gonzalez period. New head coach Danilo Brestovac has selected eight SEHA players, six from Metalurg and two from Vardar. The matches will be played on 10th and 14th, and the players who will represent the country are: Martin Tomovski, Martin Serafimov, Mario Tankoski, Tomislav Jagurinovski, Dimitar Dimitrioski, Bojan Madjovski, Stojanche Stoilov, and Martin Popovski. In the same group, Can Celebi from Nexe will represent the Turkish national team in matches against Greece.

Bosnia and Herzegovina also travel far north, to Finland. In October, Bosnia and Herzegovina started the qualification period with a win in Belarus and a loss to the Czech Republic at home. This time, they will play two key matches versus Finland, on 11th and 14th of April. In the same group, Belarus national team has two matches against Czech Republic.

Belarusian team will be represented by Meshkov Brest players Maxim Baranau, Andrei Yurynok and Siarhei Shylovich, while Ivan Matskevich will miss the matched due to an injury. On the other side, we will see Pavel Horak their teammate from Meshkov Brest. Jakub Hrstka and Tomas Cip from Tatran Presov will also represent the Czech Republic in the matches on 10th and 14th April.

Romania will face off versus Lithuania, after two initial losses against Portugal and France. Lithuania will be a good opportunity for Pascual’s team to earn some points, as their team also suffered two losses against the same opponents, so far in the qualification period in Group 6.

Slovakia will look to add first points to their tally, with two matches against Italy. They will play the matches without Tatran Presov players, but are still heavy favourites against Italy, even though both teams suffered losses against Russia and Hungary. Russia will again be represented by Vardar players. Kiselev, Kalarash, Dibirov and Shishkarev all represented their country at the World Championship, and they will all be strengthened with the return of Sergey Gorbok. However, Alexander Shkurinskiy from Meshkov Brest will miss the clashes against Hungary.

Zeleznicar’s head coach Veselin Vujovic has also selected some SEHA – Gazprom League players for the Slovenian national team. Urh Kastelic from PPD Zagreb, Aleksander Spende from Metalurg and Vid Poteko from Meshkov Brest are on the list for matches versus the Netherlands.