The latest edition of the IHF World Men’s Handball Championship, now in its 25th year, will be hosted in France from January 11th through to the 29th. Twenty-four teams have made it to the finals and they will be scrapping it out to try and become world champions. The 2015 edition of the bi-annual tournament was swept up by France who claimed their fifth title as they took down host nation Qatar in the showcase match up.
That win made France the most successful nation in the history of the competition in terms of titles won, but there will always be some stern pressure coming on them from the likes of Denmark, Spain and Poland. Can France pull off what they managed to do in 2011 when they successfully defended their title? They are just one of three nations in the history of the tournament (Romania and Sweden) to have won back to back Men’s Handball World Championship titles.
The reigning champions go as firm favourites at Sky Bet to get back in the winner’s circle, with Spain, Denmark and Sweden coming in as firm challengers. It will be very interesting to see how well last tournament’s runners-up Qatar do this time around after their massive breakthrough in what has largely been a European dominated competition.
Men’s Handball World Championship 2017 Promotion
Register an account with online betting site Sky Bet and earn yourself a free £5 bet each and every week. When you sign up you can take advantage of their £20 free bet welcome offer and then you can opt in to their Sky Bet Club. Just make £25 worth of qualifying stakes in their sportsbook each week (evens or greater) and in return you will take a free £5 bet bonus back! A promotional week runs from Monday through Sunday and the free bets will be handed out on Monday. Stay in the club by making the qualifying bets each week and keep on collecting those free bets! They will be providing superb live in-play betting coverage of the tournament as well.
Men’s Handball World Championship 2017 Draw
The tournament is being played across eight host cities in France and the action all starts with a Preliminary round which is four groups of six being played in a round-robin format. It means that one team from each of the six seeding pots for the draw will be lumped in a group.
Pot 1: France, Germany, Qatar, Spain
Pot 2: Croatia, Slovenia, Denmark, Poland
Pot 3: Sweden, Russia, Belarus, Macedonia
Pot 4: Hungary, Iceland, Brazil, Egypt
Pot 5: Tunisia, Chile, Bahrain, Japan
Pot 6: Argentina, ANgola, Saudi Arabia Norway
The Preliminary Round Draw
Group A: France, Poland, Russia, Brazil, Japan, Norway
Group B: Spain, Slovenia, Macedonia, Iceland, Tunisia, Angola
Group C: Germany, Croatia, Belarus, Hungary, Chile, Saudi Arabia
Group D: Qatar, Denmark, Sweden, Egypt, Bahrain, Argentina
In the format, each of the nations in a group will play each other once and the top four form the final standings go through to the round of sixteen which is when the knockout bracket of the competition begins. There are actually other min-brackets going on as well to settle all final positions, for example there is a bracket for the 21-24th places involving a semi final and then final match between the winners of those two matches to see who is 21st and 22nd, then the two semi final losers of that bracket will play off for the 23rd and 24th spots. So there is the 21-24th place bracket and the 17-20th bracket.
But obviously it is the main draw which garners all the interest and at the knockout stage it just a straight shot to the final there. The quarter finals are all played on January 24th, with the semi finals being played on January 26th and 27th and then the Third Place play off on January 28th before the final comes along on January 29th. So an absolute stack of games to come in this one, great news for fans of in-play betting on handball.
Men’s Handball World Championship 2017 Predictions
The tournament has been dominated by France and Spain pretty much in recent years. The French have won three of their last five titles, with Spain claiming two of the last six with Germany making landing one in 2007 on home turf. The last time that the competition was held in France back in 2001, the French won it and there have been two other instances in the seven following editions of the host nation winning. Germany won it at home in 2007 and Spain won it at home in 2013. Then you have the 2015 edition where Qatar came from nowhere on home soil to end up in the final. Similarly in 2009 Croatia reached the final on home soil (losing to France). So there is something to be said for home soil advantage and France at Sky Bet look value.
Denmark will be a dark horse having lost two of the last three finals and not having been outside of the top four in any of the last four editions. Looking back at Rio 2016 you had France, Denmark, Poland and Germany in the final four and you won’t be fair from that again here. Spain weren’t at the Olympics and so will have their say in that and Croatia look the best dark horse to come through. However, France are dominant at the moment and on home soil are the ones to back. If you wanted to look just beyond them though for a little longer value, go for the Danes.