North MacedoniaCoach: Danilo Brestovac
With the Czech Republic being unable to take part at the 27th IHF World Championship, due to a COVID-19 outbreak in their side, North Macedonia have been invited to take their place at Egypt 2021.
The North Macedonian side have been the first replacement side, as they finished 15th at the Men’s EHF EURO 2020 and will make their fifth consecutive appearance at the World Championship.
Led by 40-year-old right back Kiril Lazarov, who was the top goal scorer of the World Championship both in 2009 and 2017, North Macedonia will be looking to improve the 15th-place finish recorded both at France 2017 and at Germany/Denmark 2019.
Despite missing key pieces like experienced goalkeeper Borko Ristovski or pacy wings Goce Georgievski and Dejan Manaskov, North Macedonia will rely on three key players.
Undoubtedly, Lazarov will be once again the focal point of the offence, with line player Stojance Stoilov and goalkeeper Nikola Mitrevski set to anchor the North Macedonian defence.
Yet, this is a side that is built for the future, with only four players over the age of 30.
Seven players are set to make their competitive debut for the North Macedonian side at the 27th IHF Men’s World Championship, as coach Danilo Brestovac is setting his sights firmly on the future.
Counting out Lazarov, the average age of the squad is only 24.57 years, one of the youngest of the competition, and therefore young players will need to step up fast to mount a challenge against their opponents.
However, the North Macedonian side will have their work cut out, with a tough group waiting, featuring hosts Egypt, European powerhouse Sweden and South American side Chile.
North Macedonia have never won against Egypt or Sweden, while their two games against Chile both ended in victories for the European side at the World Championship.
Having nothing to lose, with the pressure off their shoulders, Danilo Brestovac’s team could spring a surprise or two at Egypt 2021, provided their chemistry works well.