February 25, 2024

Germany under pressure, but with young talent: the first Swiss opponent is under review

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Germany's discount check

In the opening match, Switzerland meets its big neighbor. The handball nation has a huge fan base and the most competitive league – but the last time it won a title was in 2016. With ninth (2018), fifth (2020) and seventh (2022) finishes at the last European Championship, Germany is traditionally one of the Among the top 10 in Europe, but in the EHF Euro Cup the team was unable to withstand the favorites from Denmark or Spain. As host of the EHF EURO 2024, the German national team wants to impress from the start and thus take the pressure off the players' shoulders.

the team National coach Alfred Gislason is counting on the young guard in the European domestic championship, also due to resignations and failures of well-known names (Uwe Gensheimer, Fabian Viede or Paul Drux are not available, Patrik Gruetski was injured in the last test match). ): Four World Under-21 champions are part of the German squad, including talented goalkeeper David Spaeth. The 'Wild Youngsters' should provide unexpected moments alongside key players such as Johannes Jola, Juri Knorr and Andreas Wolff.

Points of strength and weakness With Knorr, Hafner and Weber, Germany have an experienced backcourt, but the focal point of the attacking game will be the interaction via the center circle axis with Gola and Kohlbacher. It remains unclear how the right-wing position will be used following the loss of Patrik Gruetski – Timo Kastening is now the only one in that position. The Germans also lack alternatives to the Gola/Köstner duo in defensive midfield, but they can rely on Andreas Wolff and the aforementioned David Spaeth in goal.

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Against Switzerland The last official meeting between the two neighboring countries was more than 6 years ago, when Switzerland lost 22:29 in the European Championship qualifiers. The two teams faced each other in friendlies in 2022 and 2019, with the last match lost at 26:30 in Mannheim, and the Swiss have good memories of their appearance in Düsseldorf in 20219. That time they won by 29:27.

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Report from Natty's camp

At 2:19 pm, the Swiss plane LX 1018 lands on German soil at Dusseldorf Airport. In keeping with the match on Wednesday, fly over the Merkur Spiel-Arena in the sunshine and -1 degree air temperature and see where Wednesday's world record was set from above. The flight attendant wishes the team only the best at the European Championships via the on-board microphone.

The mood and anticipation are huge. Coach Michael Sutter: “It is important that we travel to the European Championship with great self-confidence thanks to our victory in the Yellow Cup. The cards will be shuffled from Wednesday and we will try to play one or two winning cards. Andy Schmid adds: “On good days, we can also beat better countries.” . “We hope we have a good day and Germany won’t have the best day.”

The national team has now arrived at their accommodation in Düsseldorf and completed their first on-site training session in the evening. The final session will be held on Tuesday from 1:30pm to 3pm (first 15 minutes open to the public) at the Merkur Spiel-Arena. The Swiss representatives then provide the attending journalists with more information in the form of a media tour. After that, full focus will be on Wednesday's game at 8:45 p.m. European Championship. 53,000 likes. Opening match between Germany and Switzerland – Handball hearts, what more could you want?

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Facts and figures

The six stadiums

The opening round takes place in Düsseldorf Mercur game arena Instead, the four teams in Group A move to Berlin for the remainder of the preliminary round. The other venues in the first stage of the tournament are Mannheim and Munich. The main tour will take place in Hamburg and Cologne. The final weekend is also held in Cologne.

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The two best-placed teams from each of the six preliminary round groups qualify for the main round, where play continues in two groups of six teams each. The first and second placed teams in each group of the main round qualify for the semi-finals. The two third-placed teams will play in the fifth-place match.