(Photo: Badminton Photo)
EMWTC: Men’s preview
Date: 2/7/2020 3:38 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
Just next week on Tuesday the group stages of the European Men’s and Women’s Team Championships will get underway in Liévin, France.

The big question in the men’s event is whether any team can knock Denmark off their throne that they have sat on for the seven EMTC’s to date. There has been a significant change in the men’s doubles, with the splitting of former world number one pair, Carsten Mogensen/Mathias Boe. The latter has had recent success with 2016 European champion, Mads Conrad-Petersen, namely the quarterfinal result at the Hong Kong Open last year. 

Despite this, the Danish team look stronger than ever. Particularly in the singles, where we see Viktor Axelsen at number three in the world, Antonsen at number six and the experienced head of Jan O Jorgensen ranked at 22. Finding a way to disrupt the singles trio and challenge the new-look doubles pairing will be the key to troubling the reigning champions. 

Deliver on the big stage
Number two seeds are England, who bring a youthful singles group, featuring SaarLorLux Open semi-finalist Toby Penty and freshly crowned two-time English nationals men’s singles champion, Alex Lane. 

It is in the men’s doubles where England hold their main strengths. Current Commonwealth Games and European Games champions, and Olympic bronze medallists, Marcus Ellis/Chris Langridge know how to deliver on the big stage. With great strength in depth, the Kharkiv and Belgian International title winners, Ben Lane/Sean Vendy, and newly crowned national champions, Tom Wolfenden/Gregory Mairs are on hand to support the effort for the fifth medal in-a-row.

Young talents
Hosts France, having now won bronze and silver at the previous two EMTCs, they will be eyeing up a sensational gold on home soil. The danger for other teams is found in the singles category led by Brice Lerverdez, the European Games silver medallist. Following him is a sizeable pool of growing young talents in the form of newly crowned national champion Christo Popov, just 17, and his older brother, Irish Open champion, Toma Junior Popov, as well as Arnaud Merkle, 2018 European Junior Champion. 

Russia arrives in Liévin with a solid team throughout and will be aiming to come away with their first medal at the championships. Their top men’s doubles pairing, 2016 All England champions, Vladimir Ivanov/Ivan Sozonov, will lead the charge, with interesting options for the second men’s doubles pair, with the presence of Rodion Alimov, the Syed Modi International title winner in mixed doubles. 

In the singles, the young talent of Georgii Karpov completes a tough Russian trio with experienced players, Vladimir Malkov and Sergey Sirant. 

Here is the full list of EMTC groups:

Group 1 – Denmark, Wales, Latvia, Switzerland. 
Group 2 – England, Estonia, Greenland, Sweden. 
Group 3 – France, Hungary, Turkey, Belgium. 
Group 4 – Russia, Austria, Ireland, Poland.
Group 5 – Germany, Czech Republic, Azerbaijan, Iceland. 
Group 6 – Netherlands, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Lithuania.
Group 7 – Finland, Slovenia, Portugal, Norway, Ukraine. 
Group 8 – Spain, Bulgaria, Italy, Israel, Croatia. 

The winner of each group will advance to the quarterfinals.

For the full draw and fixtures, click here

Tickets to see Europe’s top players fight for the crown are still available. 

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