“Final” Match of Group A

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“Final” Match of Group A


January 15, 2019




By Chris O’Reilly + Kevin Domas

Head-to-Head – Germany vs France

Tuesday evening’s headline match in Berlin provides us with the first true heavyweight clash of the 2019 World Championship, co-hosts Germany against defending champions France.

Both teams look certain to progress from Group A, but there are crucial main round points at stake here as well as a chance to prove themselves true medal contenders.

Kevin Domas and Chris O’Reilly have broken down both teams in six key areas of the game and compared them, each awarding a point for the side which impresses them most.

Goalkeepers
Kevin – GER +

Chris – FRA +

FRA: Vincent Gérard and Cyril Dumoulin have been having an on and off competition so far. While Gérard was magnificent against Serbia, he struggled against Korea. Andreas Wolff has been much more consistent.

GER: Andreas Wolff is at another level and is delivering for Germany. Silvio Heinevetter is capable of producing special performances, but there’s no guarantee he can make an impact on an occasion like this.

Back Court
Kevin – FRA+

Chris – FRA+

FRA – This is where the French strength lie. France have got so many different profiles on the backcourt positions it’s almost unpredictable to scout them. On the right, Mem and Rémili are two completely different type of players – Mem being a more complete player while Rémili is a straight shooter. On the left , N’Guessan is a pure power and seems to, finally, have found his rhythm with France.

GER: Very capable of moving the ball well and creating opportunities for the wings and line players, but besides Steffen Fäth, they haven’t looked dangerous from long-range and struggle to create opportunities “from nothing” in settled 6 vs 6 situations.

Line players
Kevin – Tie

Chris – GER+

FRA: Where Germany have physical power, France have the skills and talent. The three French line players are excellent defenders, and in Fabregas and Luka Karabatic, France have two interesting offensive players that play at a high-level with their clubs. They both have their own style and Cédric Sorhaindo can help as well, even though the years start having an impact on him

GER: Arguably the best collection of line players in the championship. Yes, France’s trio are very skilful, Fabregas in particular, but all three German line players offer such a variety of threats in attack and fit into the defensive unit well. Throwing Jannik Kohlbacher in as the third option for Germany puts them on top in this area.

Wings
Kevin – GER+

Chris – GER+

FRA: Michaël Guigou and Luc Abalo went through the first three games almost unnoticed. Why? They didn’t have many balls to make use of. France rely heavily on their backcourt to make the difference. Although both are very good in themselves, their teammates don’t use them to their full extent.

GER: Uwe Gensheimer is in fine scoring form at the moment and Patrick Groetzki is getting the job done on the opposite wing. The only question is whether the omission of Tobias Reichmann will come back to haunt Germany in a big game like this, or further down the line? Nevertheless, the German wings are on top.

Defense
Kevin – GER+

Chris – GER+

FRA: France have yet to find the proper organisation at the moment. With or without Dipanda? Sorhaindo or no Sorhaindo? There are many questions left to answer for France, and no time to solve them all.

GER: They are among the top three defenses in the championship so far and it is an area Germany pride themselves on. The center block is particularly formidable, which should give France plenty to worry about.

Coach
Kevin – FRA+

Chris – FRA+

FRA: Didier Dinart has given himself a vast choice of players, and he can change a lot of things during a game. He can, but sometimes fails to do it. He’ll have to react quicker than he did yesterday in the game against Korea or his team will suffer from bad individual performances. On paper, he’s got so many different options to take on any opponent.

GER: Christian Prokop has grown into the job since last year’s failure at the EHF EURO and the team appear to grasp his tactical approach a lot better. However, I’m not sure he can shake things up sufficiently when Plan A doesn’t work. The selection of Böhm and Strobel proves it is his team, but will his team stand up to this test?

Final Score

Advantage Germany – let the game begin.

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