The 2020 EHF Women’s European Handball Championships start Thursday, 3 December. Here’s some info on how to watch, what the odds are, and this time around, just one prediction.
How to Watch
All matches will be available for viewing on efhTV, the European Handball Federation (EHF) online web streaming platform. Availability, however, might be restricted in nations that have a TV network contract. Depending on how each contract is structured some matches on ehfTV might be geo-blocked in some countries. (Note: ehfTV is free of charge, but requires online registration.)
In the U.S. the beIN Sports network has the TV rights and to start the tournament they will be web streaming matches on both their free channel (beIN Sports Xtra) and their pay channels (beIN Sports Connect). As the tournament progresses some matches may be on their traditional cable/satellite channel. The beIN Sports schedule can be seen here: Link
There are multiple ways to watch beIN Sports Xtra including Roku, Xumo, Redbox, Samsung TV Plus, Fanatiz, Pluto TV and “Over the Air” in 15 U.S. markets. More info: Link
How to Watch on Roku
To watch on your Roku, go to your home screen and look for the “Roku Channel” icon. It’s a streaming channel just like Netflix or Hulu and should be readily available. (If not, you can add it just like you would any other channel.) Click on the Roku Channel icon and then scroll down until you see “beIN Sports XTRA” icon. Click on it and the channel should start playing. It’s live so, there are commercials just like what you would see on a TV channel.
So, why might you watch beIN Sports XTRA instead of ehfTV?: Well, your experience may vary, but last year my picture was crystal clear HD. Not to mention, no HDMI cable and laptop hook up.
All Matches with English Language Commentary
Paul Bray informs me that he will be providing commentary for Groups A and B in Herning while Clayton Lucas will be in Kolding for Groups C and D. Presumably that will continue for the Main Round and then Bray will likely cover the Finals as well.
Player Interviews: The Uninformed Handball Hour has conducted several interviews leading up to the tournament:
- Romania’s Cristina Neagu: Part 1; Part 2
- Serbia’s Andrea Lekic: Link
- Norway’s Stine Oftedal, Kari Grimsbø and Karoline Dyhre Breivang: Link
- France’s Estelle Nze Minko and Siraba Dembélé Pavlović: Link
Team Previews: Here are some great team previews from the Euro 2020 website:
- France: Link
- Russia: Link
- Netherlands: Link
- Romania: Link
- Denmark: Link
- Norway: Link
- Hungary: Link
- Sweden: Link
- Montenegro: Link
- Spain: Link
- Serbia: Link
- Germany: Link
- Slovenia: Link
- Czech Republic: Link
- Croatia: Link
- Poland: Link
Spoiler Free Daily Preview
As with other recent tournaments I plan to have a short daily post with the schedule and odds for the matches that day. I will also include some direct links to articles previewing the matches. That way if you don’t have a chance to see the matches live you can always start with the daily preview without finding out the scores by accident. I will also post direct links to the on demand matches that were played that day as soon as they are available (typically a couple of hours after the match is played).
Odds for the Competition
All odds courtesy of Unibet: Link
Tourney Format: The European Championships will start with round robin play in 4 groups (A,B,C and D) with 4 teams each. After the preliminary groups the top 3 teams from Groups A and B will form Main Round Group I and the top 2 teams from Groups C and D will form Main Round Group II. Matches with common opponents will carry though to the Main Round. The top two teams from Groups I and II will then qualify for the semifinals.
Overall Odds: The bookmakers have Norway as the clear favorite with France, Russia and the Netherlands projected to join them in the semifinals.
Matches in Herning: Here are the odds for Groups A/B and then for Main Round Group I. Group A is pretty straight forward while Group B is projected to have Sweden, Spain and the Czech Republic battling for the two spots behind Russia.
Matches in Kolding: Here are the odds for Groups C/D and then for Main Round Group II. With Croatia and Poland seen as big longshots to make the Main Round, one might argue that the Main Round starts immediately.
What can we say about this tournament… other than that it should be unpredictable. Why so?
- Multiple top players missing due to injury
- Very little real preparation for the teams participating
- Sporadic individual preparation for players due to club match postponements
- Potential for positive tests during the tournament
All of these factors should lead to a very wide open tournament. Why, if there are COVID problems in either the Herning or Kolding bubbles this tournament could get crazily unpredictable. Regardless, I don’t think we’ll get a good idea as to which teams have adjusted to these unique circumstances until a couple of matches have played. I could be wrong, but I think we could be in for some real surprises.