Macedonia vs Czech Republic
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Macedonia vs Czech Republic

I expect Czech Republic to win this match. In the first round they heavily lost to Austria and that was a major surprise of the tournament. Austria won 30:20 and made the situation very complicated for the Czech Republic. But Macedonia also lost from Denmark with 29:21. So, both teams are in same situation and both teams are under pressure.
This is the third meeting between Macedonia and Czech Republic on the Major Tournaments. Two years ago, on the European Championship in Serbia, Macedonia won, while before that Czech Republic were better in 1998. Here are the results:
19.01.2012. Czech Republic – Macedonia 21:27 04.06.1998. Czech Republic – Macedonia 38:18
The main reason for my pick is the situation in Macedonian national team. A lot of problems made this situation very complicated. The players were having problems to arrive in Denmark as the airport in Skopje was closed due to a fog, so they were waiting for some alternative option. Finally, they traveled to Bulgaria on Saturday, just one day before the first match. There were no time for acqlimatization, plus the players are tired. And just today they have to play the first match. That was the last problem. Macedonia have lot of handicaps even before. Of course, the biggest blow was the injury of Naumce Mojsovski, the key playmaker in the national team. Mojsovski tore a ligament and outside collateral meniscus in his knee playing for his team Metalurg Skopje. He will be sidelined for a longer period and will miss the whole EURO 2014. Mojsovski is the type of player who will hardly be find an adequate replacement. In addition, Filip Lazarov is also injured. The coach Obrvan has no player on that position. Against Denmark he tried with Aco Jonovski first, but it was a mistake. Jonovski was lost in the space and later Obrvan used Stojcevski and Pecakovski. Of course, none was at desired level.
I expect a win for Czech Republic.