2024 European Championship Power rankings: Selby ranks the semi-finals teams

The semi-finals of the 2024 European Championship are finally here. Ola Selby of GoHandball ranks the 4 teams.

Power rankings are our ranking of which of the teams have been the hottest so far. A team that has lost one game can be considered a better team than a team that has gone undefeated. It’s all about the quality of the teams.

Here are the Power rankings – Ola Selbys ranking of the semi-finals teams.

1: Denmark

Ranking before the European Championship: Gold.

Goalkeeper Emil Nielsen. Photo: Ludvig Thunman / BILDBYRÅN

Sure, Denmark lost the pointless game against Slovenia and had to work hard all the way to beat Sweden, and that whilst having some luck with referee decisions at defining moments. But there is no doubt that Denmark is the best team of the 2024 Euros.

Denmark has the best player of the Euros in Mathias Gidsel. They have the best goalkeeper pair in Niklas Landin and Emil Nielsen. They have the best pivot in Magnus Saugstrup (Ludovic Fabregas and Saugstrup have been the best so far), and they have the best coach in Nikolaj Jacobsen. That makes it hard to lose games.

And to add to that they have players like Simon Pytlick, Mikkel Hansen, and Rasmus Lauge in the team and how is Denmark going to lose? It’s hard to see. But there are weaknesses in this team, weaknesses that showed in the game against Sweden in particular. But my feeling is that coach Jacobsen will find a way to win no matter what.

2: France

Ranking before the European Championship: Silver.

Kentin Mahe. Photo: Jesper Zerman / BILDBYRÅN.

France has lost two out of the three latest championship semi-finals against Sweden, and now it’s time for the teams to face off once again. But France won the last meeting, beating the Swedes in Stockholm about a year ago. If they cracked the code in that game on how to beat Sweden? I don’t think so, that code was cracked long ago. In Stockholm, it was more about Vincent Gerard outplaying the Swedish goalkeepers and that Sweden couldn’t handle the loss of Jim Gottfridsson.

Can France do it again? Off course they can, and I believe that they will. They are simply too good of a team and then it doesn’t matter that they on paper are weaker in goal than Sweden.

I sense that France has gone on half-speed so far during the Euros. They have done what they needed and nothing more. And if there is one thing that this team is capable of it’s to play better when it’s required of them. Now is that time.

3: Sweden

Ranking before the European Championship: 4.

Andreas Palicka. Photo: Ludvig Thunman / BILDBYRÅN

Tobias Thulin is one year better and Andreas Palicka has impressed so far during the Euros, whilst saving up energy for this game against France. That makes me think that Sweden has a big chance of winning this game. Because Sweden needs to win the match within the match between them and the French goalkeepers. Without an inspiring performance by Andreas Palicka and/or Tobias Thulin Sweden has no chance of making it to the final.

Sweden’s chances lies there, in Palicka and Thulin combined with great defense. The Swedish offense has looked great during the Euros, but I don’t think that they want to play to much offense in that sense during this game. They want to run France out of the competition, but that won’t be easy considering the French players are great at that as well.

Almost everything points to Sweden playing for the bronze medal on Sunday. But a great game by Palicka or Thulin and they can look forward to a new final.

4: Germany

Ranking before the European Championship: Out in the Main round.

Andreas Wolff. Photo: Johanna Lundberg / BILDBYRÅN

Out of these 4 teams, it’s obvious which team I rank as the fourth best. The fact is that Denmark, France, and Sweden all are a few levels above Germany.

Then why are Germany in the semi-finals after all? Great home support, a bit of luck, Andreas Wolff, Julian Köster, and a horrible flop by Juri Knorr.

Germany may well defeat Denmark in front of a packed arena in Köln. It’s not impossible. But it will take something out of this world by Andreas Wolff for it to happen. More likely is that Germany will lose after Denmark is in control from start to whistle and that Germany just barely lose the bronze medal match against Sweden.