Katowice, 17 January 2023 - With Germany, Serbia and Qatar already through to the main round, there are no more surprises in Group E. Germany face Algeria in an attempt to go for three out of three, having already secured first place in the group and four points for the next round. The last match of the day between Serbia and Qatar will set the final group standings and points for the next round.
18:00 CET Algeria vs Germany
Germany are on a good path ahead of the main round matches with two straight wins in the group phase. The German team showed attack excellence against Qatar and in the most interesting match against Serbia.
Alfreð Gislason's team now have a chance to go for the perfect streak at the World Championship in a match without great importance, which will be a good preparation for the following stage.
Algeria will continue in the President's Cup, failing to reach the main round, something they managed to do at Egypt 2021. Considering they never finished worse than 22nd place, Poland/Sweden 2023 will mark their worst placement at the World Championship since the main appearance at the 1974 World Championship, no matter the final ranking.
"Many players who were playing in the 2021 Olympic qualification tournament in Berlin are now in the squad. I also know many players from the Junior World Championship in Algeria. Basically, the team is very experienced and many top players are in strong European leagues, especially in France. So I expect very strong individual performances. We've analysed their matches against Qatar and Serbia and despite the defeats we've seen that they are serious opponents", said German assistant coach Erik Wudtke to handball-net.
Algeria have never won against Germany. The two sides faced three times at the World Championship, and each time German side had a double-digit win. The most recent encounter was in 2009, when Algeria were defeated 20:32.
20:30 CET Qatar vs Serbia
The last match of Group E will decide the final placement in the group and the points to be taken into the main round. Serbia are favourites on paper, as Antoni Gerona's team showed top performances in both matches, especially in the narrow 33:34 defeat by Germany in the clash for the top of the group.
Serbia's strong defence and powerful attack are a perfect combination for winning another important match, but it is still to be seen whether right back Predrag Vejin will be able to play against Qatar after an injury against Germany.
Qatar sealed the fifth main round berth in a row, despite not showing the high-level performance like in previous years. Thanks to their 29:24 win over Algeria, they are through and will try to surprise Serbia.
During his two-year stint in El-Jaish in Qatar, Serbia's head coach Antoni Gerona had a chance to work with many of his next opponents, according to rss.org.rs: "I know their players very well. I worked with many of them in Qatar, and they improved a lot. At the time, they were young talents. Today they are team leaders. Their biggest strength is their team play. It will be a tough match, but I strongly believe we can win. We showed we can play and keep up with anyone."
This will be only the third-ever match between the two. The 2005 Men's World Championship was the last event where Serbia and Qatar met, with Serbia winning 34:26.