Group B: Slovenia (3-0) vs. Germany (2-1)
Things kick off right away for the men’s fourth round, with the top two teams in Group B locking horns.
Slovenia haven’t looked like Olympic debutants once in this Olympics, staying composed against the toughest of opponents and in some of the most turbulent crowds. Germany looked less composed in that same crowd in their loss to Brazil.
The question for Germany coming into this game is how they’ll contain Blaz Janc, the 19 year-old winger who’s been playing well beyond his years. They could look at Martin Strobel and Julius Kuhn to provide the extra support on the left wing. Both are bigger than Janc, and that double-team could very well prevent him from breaking through onto goal.
Kuhn is going to need to get back into scoring form again. He was 0-6 against Brazil. He’s going to need to connect on those shots. Slovenia have conceded the fewest goals the entire tournament, so any extra help that Germany can get the better for them.
This game has all the makings to be an incredibly tense affair throughout, and could potentially end in a draw.
Group A: Croatia (2-1) vs. France (3-0)
Domagoj Duvnjak finally came alive against Mikkel Hansen and Denmark. The Croat proved why he’s the go-to guy, setting up the Croatians in all aspects of the game. But he can’t do it alone against France. Luc Abalo made up for Nikola Karabatic’s early half struggles, decimating Argentina on the wing.
Duvnjak does have a good supporting cast around him, with Luka Stepancic, Marko Kopljar and Manuel Strlek. All three provide good options to contain Abalo, and Duvnjak could match up well with Karabatic in center. They’re going to have to be efficient in scoring, as France rarely miss the target.
Group A: Denmark (2-1) vs. Qatar (1-1-1)
Qatar continue to look worse and worse following that opening round victory over Croatia. They were quite lucky to draw against Tunisia, who were just a little bit disorganized in the final minute of play. They’re facing much better competition now against Denmark, who boast one of the world’s greatest in Mikkel Hansen.
Denmark love to move the ball around and are highly capable of scoring from any position on the court. That looks really good for them as Qatar have looked frustrated and lacked confidence whenever they let a couple pass through that back line. A hot start for Hansen, and continued pressure by Lasse Svan, could put this one away rather quickly and secure Denmark’s place in the knockout round.
Group B: Egypt (1-2) vs. Brazil (2-1)
Brazil got things rolling again in a very solid performance against Germany. Fabio Chiuffa’s tempo on the break left the Germans unnaturally disorganized in transition. Brazil’s Future Arena is going to be electric once more as a quarterfinal spot could likely be secured with a win. Egypt’s loss to Poland was a bit disconcerting and they looked nothign like the team that upset Sweden just a few days before. Brazil have an excellent chance of securing a comfortable victory.
Group B: Sweden (0-3) vs. Poland (1-2)
Sweden have been massively disappointing this tournament and looked apathetic against Slovenia. With their medal dreams dashed, they now have to face a Poland team that are looking to gain some steam. Karol Bielecki may be the best player on the team, but he has plenty of support with Michal Daszek and Przemyslaw Krajewski. Look for Poland to come out firing against a detered Sweden side.
Group A: Argentina (0-3) vs. Tunisia (0-1-2)
Argentina have had asbolutely no luck this tournament. First, it was Federico Pizarro’s overturned goal against Denmark. Then they just barely lost to Croatia in the closing moments (after leading the first half), and then they just lost steam against France.
Argentina are a lot better than that 0-3 record might suggest, and they’re itching to prove that against a Tunisia squad that drew against a poor Qatari team. The Federicos (Pizarro, Fernandez and Viera) will finally have their chance in the limelight.