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Handball World Cup: the Blues facing the German trap

2023-01-24T16:02:22.750Z

After six victories in six matches during the group stages, the French team approaches its quarter-final against Germany full of confidence, but also of mistrust...



The quarter-finals and the knockout phase.

Here is what awaits from this Wednesday evening in Gdansk the France team.

In the former stronghold of Lech Walesa, the Blues are starting “

another tournament, and everything is reset

” as their coach, Guillaume Gille likes to remind us.

Certainly, their six victories in six matches since the start of the competition have virtues in terms of confidence and serenity, especially since they have been accompanied by a fine management of the workforce in terms of playing time. , with in particular Dika Mem and Nikola Karabatic who could be left to rest as long as necessary to recover from their small physical glitches.

To discover

  • The complete schedule and results of the Handball World Cup

  • The 2023 Handball World Cup rankings

Even if, as goalkeeper Vincent Gérard rightly reminded us, “

the matches were still long and difficult to get there.

But it's true that the fact that Dika and Niko were able to rest a few matches can be an asset for us.

What they lost in pace, they were able to gain in physical freshness, which could count against teams that may have pulled more strings from some.

Thus, apart from their titular goalkeeper, no French player has spent four hours or more on the floor, the most in demand being Ludovic Fabregas with 3 hours 50 and Nedim Remili with 3 hours 35. All the others are three hours away. penalty or less.

By way of comparison, apart from the goalkeeper position, Germany has five players who have well exceeded 3 hours of play. A detail perhaps, but which can mean a lot if we add the day of recovery in least from which the Mannschaft benefited…

Six wins in six games

Now, this freshness asset will be useless if the Blues stammer their handball, as has sometimes been the case since the start of this World Cup.

In each of their six matches, they had (very) strong moments, but also moments of (great) weakness.

To rely on the former by reducing the latter will be an imperative for Guillaume Gille so as not to be eliminated in the first quarter.

Because these six successes in a row give appetite and legitimate ambitions to the Blues.

Not that they didn't have some before they flew to Poland.

But with his many absences (Descat, N'Guessan, Konan, Kounkoud, Minne...) and his last competitions leaving a taste of unfinished business (4th in the last Euro and World Cup) - Olympic title in Tokyo in 2021 apart of course -,

France lacked certainty, except that of having the potential to shine.

Now, she is full of confidence, while being aware that everything is far from perfect in her game.

Even when the game seems to be turning against us, we manage to regroup, to turn our backs and not panic.

Vincent Gerard

"

In high-level sport, nothing is ever perfect

", explains Vincent Gérard.

There are times when we play excellent handball, but there are also others when our level is much less efficient, when we lose too many balls, when our defensive intensity drops several notches.

But the goalkeeper clarified, in a positive tone.

So far, in this World Cup, we have always known how to react when things started to get difficult, like when Spain

(28-26)

took a three-goal lead in the second half or Poland kept coming back together. to the score in the first match

(26-24)

.

Even when the game seems to be turning against us, we manage to regroup, to turn our backs and not panic.

So many qualities that explain why France enters this quarter-final undefeated.

Dika Mem, the luxury joker

With as number 1 scorer Kentin Mahé (26 achievements, including 13 successful seven-meter throws out of 15 attempted), as a long-range shooter and passer Nedim Remili (10 goals from 9 meters in this World Cup and already 22 assists), in finishers Yanis Lenne and Dylan Nahi, and as a luxury joker a Dika Mem who missed four out of six matches for abdominal problems now resolved, the Blues are not lacking in assets.

Even if they know that against Germany, nothing is ever easy.

A look at the last four confrontations between the two teams since 2016 is enough to realize this, with three victories of one goal each time for the French for a draw.

We all remember mythical France-Germany

,” recalls Luka Karabatic.

"

Germany counts a lot on the European scene.

At the quarter-final stage, there are no small teams.

Whether it was Germany or Norway, it would have been a very good opponent anyway.

It is therefore high time to get down to business.

Hoping that they last until Sunday for the Blues, day of the final.

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2023-01-24

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