Thread: Olympics: Handball
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07-25-2012, 07:42 AM
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Men's handball tournament

Men's group A
Great Britain00000000

Group A is by far the weaker group of the two, France and Iceland are two clear cut favourites for two top spots, with Sweden and Tunisia as favourites for the other two spots that lead to QF's.

France - one of the greatest handball teams ever assembled and a true power house in every sense of the word. They had a poor showing at the last European championship, so they'll be motivated to prove the doubters who are saying that they're getting too old wrong. Their biggest stars are Nikola Karabatić (a powerfull left/center back and an offensive catalyst for their team), Thierry Omeyer (argubly the best goalie in the world) and the mastermind behind it all, their coach Claude Onesta.

Their trademark is a rough, borderline dirty play in 5-1 or 6-0 system defense (led by Didier Dinart) and offense based on power and speed rather than on creativity.

Sweden - once a powerfull handballing nation, they've fallen quite a bit and they're looking to get back to where they were led by their young guns. They have great goalies, but the rest of their team is lacking outside of left wing Jonas Kallman and right back (and their biggest star) Kim Andersson.

They play in a 6-0 zone (typical Scandinavian) which forces shots from the outside.

Iceland - handball is their #1 sport and they're in the upper class of world handball. They're led by two of the biggest handball stars in Olafur Stefansson (a right back who's a true handball legend) and Aron Palmarsson (center back and heir apparent to Olafur's throne).

They're a fast team that likes to run and their games are always highly entertaining.

Great Britain - a complete outsider, they're in the tournament onyl because GB is hosting this Olympics.

Argentina - another outsider, but they can be a decent opponent and they might catch some of the higher ranked nations off guard.

Tunisia - a team whose form is impossible to predict, they can beat anyone in the world and they can lose to virtualy anyone in the world. They play a wild brand of handball which is most notable when they go to play in an 3-3 zone defense or when they play man defense which is a rarity in European handball.

Men's group B
South Korea00000000

A true group of death. Every team in this group can beat other teams in the group. I'd put Spain, Denmark and Croatia in the tier that will fight for #1 spot but any of team from the group of Serbia, Hungary and S. Korea can surprise those three.

Spain - power-house nation whose biggest star is their coach. They're a team that relies on their defense, their goalie (Arpad Šterbik who's IMHO the best in the world) and quick counter-attacks. They're a true candidate for gold.

Croatia - another perennial power, they have a really deep bench, they're loaded with star power at each position like France and they're one of the favourites for the gold. Their biggest star is Ivano Balić (who was voted as the best handballer of all times by the IHF). Their biggest weakness is their inexperienced coach and at times suspect goaltending. They're a team whose mentality is defense first (they can play any zone from 3-2-1 to 6-0 and that's what makes them tough to prepare for) and they love to score of the counter-attack using their wing players like Štrlek, Ninčević, Čupić and Horvat.

Hungary - a nation that's always close to the best, but they can't make that final step. They play an agressive and dirty defense and their main star is a big right back named Laszlo Nagy. They could mess up plans of bigger teams and when they're at their best they can beat anyone.

Serbia - after years of mediocrity they're starting to make a comeback towards the very top. They managed to win silver at the last Euro's in Serbia and now they need to show that wasn't a fluke in their home country. Another team that plays tough defense and uses counter attacks, but their biggest stars are world class goalie Stanić, free shooting left back Momir Ilić and a free shooting right back Marko Vujin.

Denmark - powerhouse team with shot first ask questions later mentality. They play tough defense, but they're better known for their fast play and free flowing attack. Their biggest star and the best left back in the world is Mikkel Hansen. They're the current European champion from this years Euros. Their one weakness can be goaltending.

South Korea - fast team that always tries to run their opponent out of the building. They aren't a top team like their fellow women's team, but they're known for making life miserable for nations of higher profile because of the way they play.

I'll update the tables each day according to results.

Last edited by Ivan13: 07-25-2012 at 06:05 PM. Reason: added tables and break-down
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