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Denmark need historic effort to take bronze

C4 9374 EHF / Courtney Gahan

Just as the final of the Men’s EHF EURO 2022 is a rematch of the 2018 edition, so is the bronze-medal game, with France and Denmark in the battle to leave Hungary with a piece of silverware.

Denmark have the chance to win their third medal within a year, completing their collection over the last 12 months, which saw them take gold at the World Championship last January then silver at the Olympic Games. France want their second medal in the last year, after missing out at the World Championship (fourth) but then winning the Olympic Games.

Overall, France aim for their 22nd medal across all competitions and Denmark are fighting for their 15th.  

BRONZE-MEDAL MATCH

France vs Denmark
Sunday 30 January, 15:30 CET, live on EHFTV

  • both teams led their semi-finals clearly at different stages before succumbing to defeat — Denmark at the hands of Spain, 25:29, and France to Sweden, 33:34
  • France made it to the semi-finals by beating Denmark with a last-gasp effort, 30:29, on the last preliminary round day — the Scandinavian team’s only loss in the competition until the semi-final
  • in 2018 when these teams met in the bronze-medal match, Denmark had lost to Sweden while France were defeated by Spain in the semi-final stage
  • both Denmark and France recorded their lowest EHF EURO rankings in history at the 2020 edition, exiting in the preliminary round
  • since their disappointments at the EHF EURO 2020, both won major titles: Denmark defended their world title while France reclaimed Olympic gold
  • before their main round match in Budapest, the two met most recently in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic final, with France winning 25:23. They were also the Olympic finalists in 2016, where Denmark won 28:26
  • overall, the teams have met 19 times across all competitions, with France taking 12 wins and Denmark seven. Denmark have never won a EURO game against France
  • Denmark’s last victory over France was the World Championship 2019 semi-final
  • Denmark right back Mathias Gidsel has only played six EHF EURO games prior to the bronze-medal clash but sits sixth in the ranking of goals scored in the competition, including all editions, of the current squad. All those above him have played at least 34 EURO matches
  • France’s Nikola Karabatic holds the record for most EURO matches and is chasing the all-time top scorer record, but needs another nine to equal leader Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson so will likely fall short. The semi-final was Karabatic’s 70th EURO game
  • Mikkel Hansen needs 12 goals to become the EHF EURO 2022 top scorer by overtaking Iceland's Ómar Ingi Magnusson

Valentin Porte, right back, France: “We have been locked down for so long, all together, that it would be terrible for us to come back home empty-handed. It has been a difficult month, with the Covid and everything, and having a medal would be a great way of saying that we have not done all of this for nothing.”

Nikolaj Jacobsen, Denmark coach: “I expect a typical bronze final match of two extremely disappointed teams. Both sides know so well, we faced so often in top matches. There is no favourite, like there was no favourite in the semi-finals. Four top sides have made it, two of them only face for bronze, but both want this medal.”

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