After yesterday’s marathon eleven-game session we have to make do with the famine of only six matches today. I don’t know how we’ll cope. Bear in mind that if you’re in the UK you can’t see these games on TV so if you want to watch you’ll either need to go to livehandball.tv (about which I am not hearing good things) and pay £40 or to Bet365 and deposit any amount in an account.
Action from Group A looks like this: At 2pm (UK) it’s the Battle of South America as Brazil who lost as expected to Germany face Argentina who conquered Montenegro in their first match. Argentina have had 1-point wins over Brazil in their past two Pan-American finals (you have to go back to 1983 to find a Pan-American Final that didn’t feature at least one of them) so this should be a good game. I’ll back Argentina to make it 2 from 2 and do their qualification chances no harm at all. At 4.20pm, Tunisia who must be exhausted both emotionally and physically after coming so close against France will face Germany and it’s tiredness rather than lack of skill that I think will do for the Tunisians and lead to a German win. In the final match at 6.30pm we have to assume that France will remember to concentrate for the whole match not just the end of it and should overcome Montenegro.
In Group B we have, at 2.4pm (UK) Chile against Iceland. Both teams lost yesterday with Iceland blowing plenty of chances against Russia. You have to assume that Chile will continue the ‘hard’ style they showed in their game but that Iceland should get through a match they now really have to win. Then we have Qatar v Macedonia at 5pm. This match will be decided by the Pools Panel. Or might as well be: away win. And, finally, at 7.15pm a nice juicy match to get your teeth into. Russia, who showed fight and spirit against Iceland playing Denmark who had a stroll round the court beating Qatar. Both teams will want to mark their territory as potential champions with a win in much the same way as dogs mark their land by weeing on it – I expect and hope for fireworks and a close game.