European U-20 Handball Championship odds
Who wins the European Men's Under-20 Handball Championship 2021?
There is no odds at European Men's Under-20 Handball Championship 2021 yet, but we have found odds at European Women's Handball Championship 2020.
European Men's Under-20 Handball Championship
The 13th edition of the M20 Euro’s is to be held in Poreč from the 7th to 17th of January 2021. But bear in mind that, this beautiful coastal city in the western part of Croatia was not the first-choice host. On the contrary, it was originally scheduled for August 2020, in Italy and Austria, more specifically Innsbruck and Brixen. Of course, with all the pandemic complications the date had to be postponed - from August 2020 to January 2021. That’s when the original hosts decided to give up on hosting the competition, and declare they are not willing to risk any more complications due to financial and health reasons. EHF addressed the problem, deciding the tournament will be relocated to Poreč, Istria (a region on the west of Croatia).
Format & the Groups
There are 16 teams competing, divided into 4 groups with the Top 2 of each group progressing into the Main Round, while the bottom 2 play in the Intermediate Round to decide the ranking from 9th to 16th.
In the Intermediate Rounds, teams are divided into 2 groups of 4 with the Top 2 of each group getting the chance to play for the 9th place. Worth a mention, that the most important function of this Intermediate Round is to decide the World Championship qualification places.
The Main Round, though, is where all the fun is, that’s where we get the medal winners. The Top 8 teams from the original draw are also divided into 2 groups of 4 with the Top 2 of each group progressing to the Semi-finals to determine the landing address for the Trophy. The bottom 2 of these groups battle for 5th place.
The groups were drawn on the 15th of January 2020 and they are as follows:
Group A: Iceland, Serbia, Norway, Austria
Group B: Sweden, France, Portugal, Russia
Group C: Croatia, Spain, Slovenia, Italy
Group D: Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Israel.
Handball is a sport dominated by the European teams. This is no surprise considering they have the longest history and handball is in the DNA of many sporting countries who’ve invested heavily into the sport. That’s why many experts say, that the European Championship is the hardest competition to win, because at the end of the day there are no easy games here and you must be at your best in every single match.
For this reason, it is very hard to point out the favorites and predict anything, especially in the youth categories.
That being said, the best way to get an idea of the teams aiming for the top spot is to see how this generation competed in the past. The generation of 2000/01 had two big tournaments where they competed against one another. The first was M18 EHF Euro in 2018 and second was the IHF Men’s U-19 World Championship in 2019.
M18 EHF Euro
The 2018 M18 Euro, also held in Croatia, was absolutely dominated by the Scandinavian countries - historically a region where handball is one of the national sports. Sweden took home the gold, beating Iceland in the finals while the bronze medal got into the hands of Denmark - in a third-place game where they narrowly beat Croatia.
Sweden lost only one game in the competition, to the team they beat in the finals - Iceland, losing to them in the Preliminary Rounds. Iceland, on the other hand, also lost to Spain in the Main Round, proving how closely contested this competition is.
IHF Men’s U-19 World Championship
In the Final Eight of this competition, there was just one team outside of the European continent. That team eventually won the whole thing and, it was, the hosting nation – Egypt. Germany was the loser in the finals – which is great result for them. This result combined with a decent result on the 2018 Euro when they earned the 6th place gives Germany a right to name themselves - the favorites in the 2020.
The bronze was taken by the Danish, just like in the Euro 2018, while the third-best European country was Portugal - a nation where handball is an ever-growing sport with more and more fans and, consequently, more and more talented players.
Sweden, at that time the reigning European champions, finished in an underwhelming 11th place but it needs to be said that they were missing some key players from the 2018 Euro. That fact gives them hope of returning the glory yet again and forgetting this competition once and for all. Likewise, Iceland has also unexpectedly dropped down to the 8th place in the World Championship after reaching the finals of the Euro the year prior. This time around, surely hoping of achieving something similar.
The team hoping to take advantage of this unexpected home turf situation is - Croatia. When they hosted the M18 Euro, the home turf energy brought them to the semi-finals. Croatia is, most certainly, looking to exploit this situation and take this chance to get an even greater result than in 2018 Euro and washing away the bitter taste of the 10th place in the 2019 World Championship.
Speaking of favorites there are two more teams that should be mentioned. Spain and France are the handball powerhouses and while the results of this generation are not the most amazing, they are still decent enough to give them hope of reaching glory.