As reigning Olympic gold medallists and defending world champions, Denmark only need to win the European championship to accomplish what France did a few years ago and possess all three major international trophies at the same time.
Three questions before the Men’s EHF EURO 2020 starts:
- Are the Danes still as strong as when they won the world championship in 2019?
They seem to be very close to the same level as last January, at least. National coach Nikolaj Jacobsen has virtually the same squad at his disposal, despite a few players ruled out through injury. Furthermore, Jacobsen’s squad is full of experience, giving his bench more depth than many teams, although some players are obviously more crucial than others.
- Who are Denmark missing?
The world champions are coming to the EHF EURO 2020 missing a few talented players. Left wing Casper Ulrich Mortensen has been side-lined since the world championship with a knee injury, but with Magnus Landin and Magnus Bramming as substitutes, his absence is perhaps not too critical.
However the loss of line player Henrik Toft Hansen due to a concussion is a hard blow for the Danes – not least because fellow line player Simon Hald is also out with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
- What will playing their preliminary and main round group in Malmö mean to Denmark?
The Danish team are sure to get tremendous support from a huge Danish crowd in Malmö. Several of the Danish players still carry happy memories from the 2011 world championship, where Denmark won the silver medal after receiving fantastic support in Malmö in particular.
Under the spotlight: Niklas Landin
Despite having a very deep squad, the Danes still need key players like Niklas Landin and Mikkel Hansen to perform at their best. In particular, Denmark will need THW Kiel goalkeeper Landin to be at the level he has shown in the Bundesliga and the VELUX EHF Champions League this autumn in order to take another medal.
A confident Danish team will show up for the tournament. They have fond memories from their latest major tournament, the IHF World Championship 2019 in Germany and Denmark. In Malmö, they will feel like they are at home, with massive support from the many Danes who will cross the Øresund bridge for the event.
Denmark went through their qualification group with a narrow defeat in Montenegro as the only scratch on an otherwise unblemished surface, and only a few question marks regarding injured players may create doubt.
After giving himself more free time when he stepped down from his role as Rhein-Neckar Löwen head coach last summer, coach Nikolaj Jacobsen has found time to make his debut on the big screen. He will appear in the popular Danish movie franchise Klovn (Danish for clown) – although he will not play the main character.
What the numbers say
Ten has been a magic number for the Danes ever since the 2019 world championship, where Denmark won all their 10 matches decisively.