Day 2 of the World Championship and it’s game overload …

Daniel Narcisse, IHF Player of the Year 2012, will presumably be playing for France today.

After yesterday’s solitary match between Spain and Algeria the World Championship moves into overdrive today.  There are more games than you can shake a two minute suspension at.  Obviously in the UK you won’t be able to see any of them on the TV here – you’ll either have to pony up for a subscription at livehandball.tv (£39.99 for the whole tournament) or put some money in a Bet365 account for lo-fi live streaming.  But, enough of the gloom, let’s look at what you could be seeing …

The three matches in Group A should be fairly easy to predict so no doubt I’ll get them wrong.  First up at 3pm (UK) is Germany versus Brazil.  Germany are an outside bet for the tournament, Brazil are not.  Germany will win.  Then, at 5.15pm is Argentina v Montenegro.  Argentina finished 12th at the last World Championships and 10th in the London Olympics (the only team they beat was Great Britain) whereas this is Montenegro’s first appearance.  They did however put out Sweden in the qualifiers and it would be a surprise for them not to win today.  In the final match at 7.15pm, France will get to showboat against Tunisia.

Group B should see wins for Macedonia over Chile (2.45pm) and for Denmark over Qatar (7.15pm).  In between is the more intriguing match between Iceland and Russia.  Iceland’s silver medal in the 2008 Olympics was watched by virtually everyone in Iceland (it should be noted that ‘virtually everyone in Iceland’ is a smaller figure than live in the 59th biggest town in Russia).  Russia haven’t really punched at their correct weight for a while ( champions in 1997, precious little since an Olympic title in 2000) so this should be a win for the plucky island folk.  But you never know.

Assuming that they can play away from home, Serbia should dispose of South Korea easily enough in Group C’s first game at 2.45pm.  If they do suffer the travel sickness again then the South Koreans are effective opponents and could spring a surprise.  The world will end though if Slovenia don’t beat Saudi Arabia at 5pm.  Seriously.  Well, maybe.  There are only 12 places between them on the IHF rankings after all.  The final match of the day in the group is between Belarus and Poland.  Belarus are in only their second World Championships and the pedigree of the Poles, if nothing else, should see them home comfortably enough.

Finally, it’s Group D which only has two matches because of Spain and Algeria getting started yesterday.  At 3.45pm Australia will get to see what a cricket score looks like in handball as Croatia will get to strut around in front of them, and at 6pm dark horses Hungary should be far too strong for Egypt.

So, a mere 11 matches …  that’s what I call a balanced diet …

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