The Macedonian volleyball national team opened the European Championship in Skopje in the best way, with a 3-1 triumph against Denmark, which opened the way to the round of 16. After the defeat of Denmark in yesterday’s match against the Czech Republic, this is a crucial match for Macedonia in order to secure their place in the 1/8 finals. I can be really long with this analysis, but will try to solve it in a few sentences. The nickname of the best generation of Macedonian volleyball is „Spartans“. Their journey started 7-8 years ago when they traveled more than 15 hours by bus to their destinations in qualifications due to the lack of finance of the Volleyball Federation. They prepared sandwiches from home, slept at gas stations, and successfully finished the qualifications for the first appearance of Macedonian volleyball in some European championship. From that on we called them „Spartans“ because they suffered for the national team and this is a culmination of this generation to play in front of their own fans, having a historical chance to be in the best 16 teams in Europe. The leaders of this team are outside hitters Nikola Georgiev and Aleksandar Ljaftov. Both are top quality players, having superb club carriers (especially Nikola Georgiev). You can’t imagine the team chemistry of these team and truly recommend watching them tonight. The public finally stands behind them and tonight the Boris Trajkovski Hall will be fully packed with more than 7000 laud fans (personally I waited 10 minutes to buy a ticket, which for volleyball is really strange).
Montenegro has the youngest team in this group. They were easily beaten by the Netherlands in the premier (who is the best team after Poland), where the Dutch side just showed small potential and kept their energy for yesterday’s match against Poland. Similar to Macedonia, they see their chances in this match and the next against Denmark, but I can’t imagine how will beat these „Spartans“ in front of a fully packed hall.
In their 4 mutual matches, Macedonia has 3 victories (one defeat in 2014), and all of them were with 2 or 3 sets difference.
Extra bet: -1.5 Sets Asian handicap @ 2.25 odds