The men are the last to take the ice for their short programs at the 2017 European Figure Skating Championships, and it's going to be Javier Fernandez versus everyone else. He is the four-time and defending champion of the event, and it will be tough for anyone to challenge him for the title. A quick look at some predictions for the men's event.
2017 Europeans Predictions
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GOLD Javier Fernandez ESP - He's the heavy favorite, and that's that. Fernandez is going for his fifth consecutive title - no man has won five in a row (or even four in a row, for that matter), since Ondrej Nepela back in the 1970s. As he looks toward Worlds, one other big win he could get out of this will be skating a clean short program. It's a rarity for him, and he will absolutely need it to give him the best shot at defending his World title come March.
SILVER Mikhail Kolyada RUS - The new Russian champion entered this competition last year with a bit of a buzz but ended up fifth. This year, he is really a solid medal favorite and will be looking to live up to that hype. When the jumps are there, Kolyada has the style and solid skating to help him give Fernandez a run for his money.
BRONZE Daniel Samohin ISR - One half of the very intriguing matchup this week, Samohin is battling teammate Bychenko for the sole Israeli spot at Worlds. So far this season, Bychenko actually has the edge, with better Grand Prix results and a direct victory over Samohin at Golden Spin. But at their most recent head-to-head, the Israeli Championships, it was Samohin who pulled out the win. He can be outrageously inconsistent, but he's incredible when he's on.
4. Alexei Bychenko ISR - The other half, of course, is Bychenko, who is the veteran among the two. He's also the reigning silver medalist, so he's definitely made his mark at Europeans before. He's found a consistency this season that has helped him grab his best results ever on the Grand Prix, and he will need every bit of that consistency to get himself back on the podium.
5. Michal Brezina CZE - This is the wildcard here. Brezina is no stranger to Europeans, having nine times here and winning the bronze in 2013. His results the past few seasons have been on the slide, but a coaching change and a new training environment looks to have had a positive effect on his skating. Can he make it back in the top five?
6. Maxim Kovtun RUS - Was his free skate at Russian Nationals was he needed to snap out of his inconsistency streak? We'll find out this week at Europeans. He's got all the talent and jumps in the world to grab some good numbers, and he's been on the podium the past two seasons.
7. Alexander Samarin RUS - The Russian silver medalist makes his debut at Europeans this week, taking that big step into the senior ranks. He's got strong jumps but his components aren't quite up there with the rest of the top men yet.
8. Jorik Hendrickx BEL - One of the two Hendrickxes here at Europeans (his sister is skating in the ladies' event), Jorik Hendrickx has had a solid season, most recently with a sixth at Trophee de France. His highest finish at Euros was ninth.
9. Kevin Aymoz FRA - Can he keep this up? Aymoz upset Besseghier for the French title last month and is making a name for himself as an up-and-coming skater.
10. Chafik Besseghier FRA - He hasn't been to Europeans for the past two seasons due to injuries. But Besseghier is back this week, looking to grab a top ten finish.