The European Men’s’ Handball Championship is a biennial competition for senior men’s handball national teams in Europe. It was founded in 1994 by the European Handball Federation and has since been held every two years during even-numbered years in between the World Championships. The tournament doesn’t just serve as the venue to determine the European handball champions, it is also the qualifying event for the Olympics and World Championship.
The 2020 European Handball Championship is the 14th edition of the tournament. It will be held from January 10-26, 2020 and for the first time in its history, three teams will co-host the event and these countries are Austria, Norway, and Sweden. Likewise, next year’s tournament will be the first time that a total of 24 teams will be participating.
In a draw held last June 28, 2019, at the Erste Bank Campus in Vienna, Austria, the teams were distributed to six groups of four. The teams will play a round robin within their group and the top two teams per group will advance to the next round. The twelve teams that advance are then seeded and separated into two groups where teams will play another round robin stage within their group. The top two teams per group will move on to the knockout semifinal round which will be played on January 24, 2020. The winners will play in the final match to be held two days later on January 26, 2020, at the Tele2 Arena in Stockholm, Sweden.
Coincidentally, Sweden is the most successful team in the competition with four gold medals and one silver medal. France is next with three wins and two third-place finishes. Denmark and Germany are the only other teams to win this event more than once with two wins each. Spain has won the most medals with a total of seven.
Spain is the defending champions in the tournament after defeating Sweden 29-23 in the final. France took home third place during the tournament which was held in Serbia. Denmark is the handball betting favorites to win this tournament while France and Sweden follow in the current odds board. Defending champions Spain are just sixth in the current odds board.
Here are the odds to win the 2020 European Handball Championship. Odds were taken from TitanBet as of 7/11/19:
Who Are The Favorites?
Denmark won their first ever World Cup at the 2019 World Men’s Handball Championship. As co-hosts with Germany, Denmark defeated Norway 31-22 in the final and finished the competition with a clean sweep. The win ended Denmark’s drought at the World Cup. They had been to the final in 1967, 2011 and 2013 and lost in all three instances. But after taking gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Denmark is on the rise again. With three-time IHF World Player of the Year Mikkel Hansen on their side, Denmark is the handball betting favorites to win next year.
France’s bid for a World Cup hat-trick was foiled when the French lost to Denmark 30-38 in the semifinals of the 2019 World Men’s Handball World Cup. France has been the dominant men’s handball team of the decade. They won back to back World Cups in 2009 and 2011 and Olympic golds in 2008 and 2012. A blip in 2013 saw them get eliminated in the quarterfinals. But they bounced back by winning the World Championship in 2015 and 2017. With Dika Mem, Ludovic Fabregas and Luc Abalo at their disposal, France is a team to watch in the 2020 European Handball Championship.
Sweden is the most successful team in the European Men’s Handball Championship with a total of four world titles won. Along with France, Sweden has the most medals in World Men’s Handball Championship with 4 golds, 3 silvers, and 4 bronze medals. Sweden was runner-up at the 2018 Euro in Croatia but finished 5th in the recent World Cup.
Norway is a growing force in handball and they are coming off a back to back silver medal finishes at the 2017 and 2019, their first two podium finishes ever. Germany won the Bronze in the Rio Olympics and won the Euro title in 2016 before falling to 9th place in the 2018 World Championship. The Germans were 4th in the last European Men’s handball championship and will be looking to do better this time.
Denmark is coming off a perfect sweep in the 2019 World Men’s Handball Championship and their dominance in that tournament has made them favorites to win this competition. France has been the most dominant team of the decade with four world championships and two European titles since 2009. However, the French were ousted in the semifinals in the last Worlds. Sweden is the most successful team in this competition and is among the three teams co-hosting this event. When I look at the teams, France has been the l most consistent and successful team in the last 10 years. Despite losing to eventual champions in the recent World Championships, I think France still has the capacity to dominate the field once again. Prediction: France