Poland will face Austria at 20.30. At the same time on January 16, her opponent will be Belarus, and on Tuesday, January 18 at 18. Germany, who are considered the favorites of the group.
The best two teams, which will form two groups of six teams each, will advance to the main round – January 20-26. At this stage, meetings will be held in the capitals of both host countries.
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The phase deciding about the distribution of the medals will be played in Budapest. The two best teams from groups I (made up of A, B and C) and II (D, E, F) will advance to the semi-finals and will face each other “crosswise”. A match for fifth place is also scheduled for January 28. The match for the bronze medal and the final – 30 January.
In the last days before the tournament, the two-week preparations for the white and reds were torpedoed by the coronavirus. For this reason, Rafał Przybylski and Dawid Dawydzik left the team at the European Championships, and after their arrival in Bratislava, five more players had positive results of the COVID-19 tests, including goalkeeper Adam Morawski, Piotr Chrapkowski and Jan Czuwara, who were to play significant roles in the team.
All five were sent to a five-day isolation, and will not be able to return to the team for the last group match at the earliest.
Before the draw on May 6 last year in Budapest, 24 teams were divided into four baskets. Poland was drawn from the fourth, theoretically weakest one, because in the qualifying rounds of European Championships the charges of coach Patryk Rombl were only third in group 5, behind Slovenia and the Netherlands.
White and red usually did not do well in the championship of the Old Continent. Only in 2010 in Austria they saw a medal, losing the bronze match with Iceland (26:29). They did much better in the world championships, where they won one silver and three bronze medals.
In the second phase of the tournament, the Poles may come across the defenders of the title of the Spaniards, with whom on Saturday in the last match during the preparations for Euro, they minimally lost in the friendly tournament in Cuenca 25:26, the world vice-champions of the Swedes or the bronze medalists of the previous European Norwegian championships. If the Polish team were promoted, they would still play for Bratislava.
psl, PAP, Polsat Sport
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