Article written

  • on 10.06.2011
  • at 03:50 PM
  • by KT

U21 European Championships – Betting Preview

The U21 European Championships get underway this weekend in Denmark and promises to show off some of the up and coming talent from around the continent.

And with any major tournament comes some exciting betting opportunities for us to get our teeth stuck into.

Germany, the 2009 winners, failed to qualify this time around as did 5-times winners Italy. France also missed out the finals.

With that in mind, Stuart Pearce’s England have a host of young talent on show, including Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Jack Rodwell, Tom Cleverly and Danny Sturridge to name but a few. England are well fancied to go close (4/1 to win the tournament Outright with Paddy Power), having got beaten by the Germans in the final of the 2009 tournament.

Latest Outright Betting From Paddy Power
Spain – 15/8
England – 4/1
Czech Rep – 5/1
Denmark – 15/2
Iceland – 8/1
Switzerland – 8/1
Ukraine – 10/1
Belarus – 25/1

Place a £10 bet with Paddy Power and they will give you a £20 Free Bet to use on any market.

The early round of the tournament sees the teams split into 2 groups with Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland and Belarus in Group A and Spain, England, Ukraine and the Czechs making up Group B.

The top two sides from each group qualify for the Semi Finals.

Group A:

The host nation, Denmark, have been in poor form and only recently ended a long losing streak. Despite having home support on their side, their lack of match time and poor form will surely cost them in a tournament such as this where it is imperative to get off to a flying start.

Belarus are a surprise inclusion in the qualifiers despite finishing bottom of their group when qualifying for the last European Championships, however they earned their place with a playoff win over Italy despite trailing 2-0 going into the second leg. They are likely to struggle here however as they conceded more goals than any other side in the qualifying campaign.

The other 2 sides in the group (Iceland and Switzerland) to fight out for the top two places and both of these sides have differing abilities. Iceland were the top scoring side in qualifying and they play some exciting football and have beaten England and Germany 2-1 and 4-1 in recent games. However, their attack minded football often leaves them wide open at the back and they concede goals all too regularly. The Swiss on the other hand have few ‘stars’ but are a much better organised team and if they remain so will have a great chance of winning the group. They won the U17 tournament in 2009 and many of that squad play here, as well as a number of full internationals.

Tip – Back Switzerland to top Group A (5/2 with Paddy Power)

Group B:

Group B is a much stronger group, hosting three of the most exciting teams in U21 football: Czech Republic, Spain and England.

That said the Ukraine cannot be written off here having picked up some great away results during qualification, which was secured with a 3-1 win in the Netherlands. They won the U19 championship in 2009 and were runners up in 2006, but despite that they will do well to get out of the group stages here.

England were beaten in a tremendous Semi Final match in 2007 as they lost 13-12 on penalties to the Dutch and were also beaten 4-0 in the 2009 final by Germany. They have improved each tournament under the guidance of Stuart Pearce and he is again in charge, looking to go all the way this time around.

They will find it tough going as the Czech’s ended the qualifying campaign as the only unbeaten side, conceding just 4 goals, with only Iceland scoring more.

Spain boast five players from European Champions Barcelona and despite being the favourites for this title they managed to only finish second in their group before thrashing Croatia 5-1 to book their spot in the tournament.

Given the Czech Republic’s excellent qualifying campaign, it is hard to look beyond them, despite England and Spain boasting much better squads on paper.

Tip – Back Czech Republic to top Group B (10/3 with Paddy Power)

Outright Winner:

The eventual winner will surely come from Group B and if they get out of the blocks and win the group, they will be well-fancied to go all they way and lift the trophy.

Tip – Back Czech Republic to win the tournament outright (5/1 with Paddy Power)

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