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England reaching for gold (Photo: Badminton Photo)
Preview – England
Date: 2/4/2019 5:46 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
England are consistent performers in the European Mixed Team Championships, having only missed out on the medals once since the tournament began in 1972. However, the gold medal they crave so much has eluded them since 1984. Furthermore, during the past two decades, in over half of the championships England have had to settle for the runners-up spot. All of them to Denmark. 

Beginning on 13th of February, on Danish courts, England will commence their campaign against Russia. A team who themselves were runners-up for the first time in 2017, and in-fact beat England 3-1 in the semi-final along the way. This is certainly a great opportunity for English revenge, and to kick-start their tough group phase.

This match will be vitally important in order to top the group and of course avoid the home favourites Denmark in the semi-finals. The match-ups to watch are the Mixed Doubles and Men’s Doubles, were England will have to find an answer to Vladimir Ivanov, a key component of both, and the factor which ultimately undone England last time they met. 
 
The squad
England’s consistency lends itself to a largely unchanged squad of players. However, comparing to 2017, England has strengthened with their number one Men’s Singles player, Rajiv Oueseph being fit to play. 2017 replacement Toby Penty, who did a terrific job filling-in in his absence, will be fighting for the top spot with his performances in the game time he will receive. 

Also, Lauren Smith now partners Chloe Birch in the Women’s Doubles. Birch will also be the primary Women’s Singles player, so some rotation amongst the Women’s Doubles players may be necessary throughout the competition.
 
The likely team line-up:

Men’s Singles - Rajiv Oueseph
Women’s Singles – Chloe Birch
Men’s Doubles – Marcus Ellis/ Chris Langridge
Women’s Doubles – Lauren Smith/ Chloe Birch
Mixed Doubles – Chris Adcock/ Gabrielle Adcock

Group 2 schedule
England will also need to overcome Ireland and 2013 winners Germany to top the group. Here are the fixtures:

13/2/19 – Russia
14/2/19 – Ireland
15/2/19 - Germany 

For the full fixtures and squad lists click here.


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