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© Badminton Europe

The European Championships 2016 draw announced in France; Dutch impact expected in mixed and women's doubles

© Badminton Europe+

The top Russian pair of Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov are the ones to watch.

The defending champions and top seeds open their title defence against Dutch pair Ruben Jille and Robin Tabeling. Who can stop the Yonex All England champions repeating their Haka celebration on finals day on May 1?

Piek and Muskens

The women's doubles has put Dutch second seeds Eefje Muskens and Selena Piek on course for a semi-final rematch with Bulgaria's third seeds Gabriela and Stefani Stoeva. The pairs met in the quarter-finals two years ago with Muskens and Piek winning 25-23 21-15 to claim a bronze medal.

But for them to meet again Muskens and Piek may have to overcome German pair Isabel Herttrich and Birgit Michels in the quarters while the Stoeva sisters could face England's Orleans winners Heather Olver and Lauren Smith at the same stage.

In the top half defending champions Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen, who only dropped one game on the way to the 2014 title, are chasing a hat-trick together. The top seeds should not be tested until the semi-finals where they can expect to face German fourth seeds Johanna Goliszewski and Carla Nelte.

But the German pair may have to overcome Dutch pair Samantha Barning and Iris Tabeling in the quarters first.

The mixed doubles could be the closest fought of the events with defending champions Joachim Fischer and Christinna Pedersen and 2012 winners Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Zieba strong contenders. But husband-and-wife pair Chris and Gabby Adcock start favourites as they look for a first European title to go with their World SuperSeries Final triumph in December.

The Adcocks will probably need to overcome French seventh seeds Ronan Labar and Emilie Lefel and then 40-year-old Mateusiak and Zieba if they are to reach the final. But Orleans International and Finnish Open winners Mathias Christiansen and Lena Grebak are unseeded and the Danes could be a real danger as they look forward to a potential quarter-final with Labar and Lefel.

Equally, European Games champions Niclas Nohr and Sara Thygesen are No. 8 seeds and are expected to come through the draw to meet Mateusiak and Zieba in the last eight.

In the bottom half second seeds Fischer and Pedersen will expect to have Michael Fuchs and Birgit Michels to contend with in the last eight and Dutch third seeds Jacco Arends and Selena Piek in the semi-finals if the draw goes according to seeding.

But don't overlook experienced Russian pair Vitalij Durkin and Nina Vislova, who would love to add to her 2010 gold and 2008 and 2012 bronze medals in women's doubles with a first mixed doubles medal.

France have two other pairs to back up Labar and Lefel. European Games runners-up Gaetan Mittelheiser and Audrey Fontaine start against Croatia's Igor Cimbur and Stasa Poznanovic with Arends and Piek their likely second-round opponents. Bastian Kersaudy and Lea Palermo take on England's wild card pair Ben Lane and Jess Pugh with the winners of that contest likely to face Dukin and Vislova.

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via Badminton Europe

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