Today at the preliminary stage of the European Handball Championship, the teams of Portugal and Greece will play.
The Portugal team demonstrates mixed results ahead of the start of the European Handball Championship. In the last 5 friendly matches, the team unexpectedly suffered three defeats, only managing to win against Tunisia and Switzerland in tough battles: on 4 November, the team won against Tunisia with a score of 33:32, and on 3 November, they defeated Switzerland with a score of 29:26. On 6 January, Portugal lost to Germany with a score of 31:35, and on 4 January, they were also defeated by Germany, this time with a score of 33:34. On 2 November, they lost to Austria with a score of 27:34.
Despite these results, Portugal performed very confidently in the qualifying stage of the European Championship, winning all six matches. Key victories include: on 30 April, a win over Luxembourg with a score of 36:18, and on 26 April, a success against Turkey with a score of 37:35. On 12 March and 9 March, two victories over North Macedonia with scores of 32:27 and 29:23 respectively. These results show that, despite recent defeats in friendly encounters, the Portugal team possesses the potential and confidence that may manifest in the upcoming European Championship.
The Greece team approaches the start of the European Handball Championship showing resilience and fight in their games, despite a series of defeats. In the latest friendly matches, the Greek team lost 3 out of 4 games, but they demonstrated the ability to fight against the favourites, never losing by more than 4 goals.
Main results of the friendly matches: on 4 January, Greece lost to North Macedonia with a score of 30:33. On 29 December, they won against Slovakia 35:23. On 28 December, they lost to Romania with a score of 27:31. On 4 November, they suffered a defeat from North Macedonia with a score of 22:23.
In the qualifying tournament for the European Championship, Greece took third place, losing in the last two matches to the group leaders - the Netherlands and Croatia. However, the team managed to defeat Belgium twice and even achieved an important victory over the Netherlands in a home match. These results show that, despite recent defeats, the Greece team is capable of demonstrating tenacious play and can be a serious contender in the upcoming championship.
The teams have played against each other once at the Mediterranean Games, with the match in 2018 ending in a draw with a score of 28:28.
I believe that in the first match of the tournament for both teams, there will be cautious handball, primarily from the Greeks, who will cling to every attack. I bet on a total of fewer than 58.5 goals.