«sep 2017»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
28293031123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
2526272829301
2345678
«oct 2017»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2526272829301
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
303112345
«nov 2017»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
303112345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930123
45678910
«dec 2017»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
27282930123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
1234567
«jan 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930311234
567891011
«feb 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2930311234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627281234
567891011
«mar 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2627281234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930311
2345678
«apr 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2627282930311
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30123456
«may 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
30123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031123
45678910
«jun 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
28293031123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
2526272829301
2345678
«jul 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2526272829301
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
303112345
«aug 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
303112345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
272829303112
3456789
AlbaniaAndorraArmeniaAustriaAzerbaijanBelgiumBosnia HerzegovinaBelarusBulgariaCroatiaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkSpainEstoniaFaroe IslandsFinlandFranceGreat BritainGeorgiaGermanyGreeceHungaryIrelandIcelandIsraelItalyKosovoLatviaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMoldovaFYR MacedoniaMaltaMontenegroMonacoNetherlandsNorwayPolandPortugalRomaniaRussiaSloveniaSerbiaSwitzerlandSlovakiaSwedenTurkeyUkraine
 
EnglandScotland
Other EHF Sites 

13.10.2016, 19:24
Norway hotly-tipped for trophy defence
«Go back »Print Version


NEWS REPORT: Defending champions lead the EHF EURO 2016 power ranking after the latest round of test matches around Europe
 

Norway hotly-tipped for trophy defence

Counting down the two months remaining until the throw-off at the Women’s EHF EURO 2016, EHF journalists from across Europe had their say on the top 10 teams, based on their preparation, form and results in October’s test matches.

The expert pool consisting of Peter Bruun, Adrian Costeiu, Kevin Domas, Andi Yrkill Valasson and Nemanja Savic, chose their top contenders, with the defending champions and the six-time winners Norway topping the power ranking.

The impressive Olympic silver medallists France were ranked a close second, with Netherlands, Romania and the hosts Sweden rounding off the top five overall.

The biggest surprise, however, was the absence of Montenegro, and to a certain extent Spain, from the list of ten teams, due to their most recent spells of poor form.

10. Germany

Germany opted for a two-match test against Spain, with mixed results. Having won the first match quite convincingly (32:18), the second encounter went in the Guerreras’ favour (27:24).

With the blend of youth and experience, the current crop of German players certainly have the potential to mix it up, but not the extra-quality to be among the leading forces at the upcoming Women’s EHF EURO 2016.

With everything said, a top-eight finish and a place in the main round would be their realistic target, however, Germany have never missed the Women’s EHF EURO, and should not be underestimated, given the right set of circumstances in a rather playable group.

9. Serbia

The Women’s EHF EURO 2012 semi-finalists have completed the reconstruction of the team that started two years ago.

With the welcome addition of some fresh blood, providing reliable cover, and several established players enjoying the increased game-time, the new-look Serbian team appears ever confident in their abilities and game plan to boot.

Following their good friendly performances, albeit, against the Neagu-less Romania (23:19) and Netherlands B (28:24), with an impressive second half display in a narrow defeat against Netherlands (29:31), Dragica Djuric’s team looks finally ready to embark upon the new challenge come December.

8. Hungary

The nation’s hopes rest squarely on Kim Rasmussen’s shoulders to end Hungary’s fall from the Women’s EHF EURO grace. The Women’s EHF Champions League winner is seen as the perfect man to bring new energy to the team of an already sufficient quality to make a mark in Sweden.

The big advantage is that the entire team consists of domestic-based players, while the Women’s EHF Champions League outfits FTC and Györ make the vast majority of this cohesive team.

In contrast to the previous years, FTC’s versatile left back Zita Szucsanszki took over the leader’s baton, while the new intake of player is bound to add depth and rotation options, evident in the 32:22 win against Slovenia.

7. Denmark

The three-time champions are some way from their glory days, as the coach Klavs Bruun Jorgensen is trying to find the right anwer for the fortunes of the team that missed the Olympic Games 2016, while on a 12-year long Women’s EHF EURO medal-drought (silver won in 2004).

Judging by their most recent Golden League squad, Denmark are plotting a new intake of talented players for the European Championship, with one of the youngest squads on the tournament.

Their performances clearly indicate the quality is there, however consistency is in question with the 19:31 defeat to Norway clouding their 32:22 rout of Olympic champions Russia.

The transitioning team still lacks the consistency to be among the favourites, as put to words by Scandinavian expert Peter Bruun: “A win against Russia, but tough losses against France and Norway outline their weaknesses.”

6. Russia

The Olympic champions just had their reality check, as Norway and France both took the Russians to the sword, while the 22:32 defeat to the hosts Denmark has certainly raised some eyebrows.

However, the warning came just in time for Evgeni Trefilov to address the form and shortcomings of the team that thrilled the handball public just two months ago in Rio.

Furthermore, the Russian tactician Trefilov was yet again adamant not to reveal his cards, prioritising testing new players and expanding tactical possibilities of his close-knit bunch.

Should the Russians be able to adjust to the EHF EURO competition format, and three straight defeats not have a devastating effect on the team’s morale, they have the potential to be a dark horse and upset the ranks in Sweden.

5. Sweden

With the triumphant epilogue to the friendly tournament against Poland (33:23), Iceland (31:27) and Slovakia (28:18), the hosts receive an invaluable confidence boost, entering the final stages of preparation.

Sweden were consistent and stable throughout their four-day test in Poland, which is exactly what they needed the most, with less than two months to go until the start of the Women's EHF EURO 2016.

With the rankings given by the experts, Sweden are certainly within a chance to fight for medals in front of the home fans, given they build on their current levels of performance and consistency and stay injury-free come December.

4. Romania

Romania performed with mixed results, however, their narrow (24:23) win against Netherlands remains the highlight of their preparation.

Defeat against Serbia somewhat clouds their record, especially as the rest of the team showed little initiative with Cristina Neagu benched during the course of the entire match.

Romania have lacked major success at the European stage so far, however, the tactical knowledge and vast experience of Gyor’s two-time Women’s EHF Champions League-winning coach Ambros Martin, is likely to bring out the best performances from the team’s biggest stars when needed most.

Judging by the sheer quality of the squad, coupled with Martin’s tactical knowledge, they are destined for the later stages, and perhaps maybe even their maiden final appearance.

3. Netherlands

The newly installed coach Helle Thomsen has been greeted with consistency, however, the match against Serbia (31:29) saw two sides of the Dutch team; highlighting the weaknesses, which ultimately cost them the defeat against Romania (23:24). 

However, Thomsen inherited a good base to build, and apply her methods upon; most of all, a world-class backcourt, with the likes of Nycke Groot, Estavana Polman and Laura Van der Heijden, set to shine as the leading stars of their teams in the Women’s EHF Champions League.

The arrival of Thomsen, who previously led Sweden to a bronze medal finish at the Women’s EHF EURO 2014 could well be the missing piece of the puzzle, towards the Netherlands’ EHF EURO glory.

2. France

Taking their defensive game to another level, with an added lethal touch in attack, the physically impressive French carried their momentum gained at the Rio Olympics onto the final stages of preparation for December.

Following convincing performances against the quality opponents, defeating Russia (24:22) and Denmark (27:20), the experts agree the feisty French team are the biggest challengers to Norway’s trophy defence.

Coincidently, Norway edged the French team just narrowly (19:17), albeit without Pineau and Lacrabere, while the return of the two stars would provide Olivier Krumbholz’s team the fire power for potential revenge when it counts the most.

“Even with some important players injured (Lacrabère/Pineau), France managed to defeat both Norway and Russia with the same defensive intensity as they showed in Rio,” says French expert Kevin Domas.

1. Norway

The beautifully consistent Norway seem to tick all the experts’ boxes as the most convincing side prior to the Women’s EHF EURO 2016.

Thorir Hergeirsson‘s team incorporated a number changes in comparison to their Olympic Games team, taking the opportunity to test new players, and provide valuable cover for the leading stars such as Nora Mork and Heidi Loke, while opening his bag of tricks which brought him plenty of success in the past.

Having recorded a trio of friendly victories against France (19:17), Russia (28:23) and Denmark (31:19), the reigning and six-time European champions remained true to their name, and justifying their odds-on favourites status for a defence of their trophy in Sweden.


TEXT: Nemanja Savic / cor
 
Share
CONTACT FORM