The Under 21 European Championships get underway on Wednesday in Israel and today we look at the betting for Group A.
Group A is considered the ‘easiest’ of the two groups containing hosts Israel, England, Italy and outsiders Norway. England are favourites to win the group at 5/4, Italy are next best at 13/10, Israel are 10/1 and Norway 12s.
In the ‘to qualify’ market, England are 3/10 and Italy are 1/3. Israel 5/2 and Norway 11/4.
So the bookies think England and Italy will stroll into the semi-finals, and on paper it looks like they’re right. England come into the tournament on the back of nine straight wins without conceding a goal but often struggle on the bigger stages where are Italy have won this tournament five times previous and won their qualifying group, before beating Sweden 4-2 in a play-off. In Mattia Destro Italy have a real strong goalscorer and his form could be key to Italy’s chances of going all the way, his side kick Manolo Gabbiadini of Bologna averages almost a goal every two games in his ten under 21 appearances so expect Italy to be fine in the goals department. They scored 31 goals in their 12 matches in qualifying.
England strolled through the qualification process, losing just once in the group stages before seeing off Serbia 2-0 in an ill-tempered two legged affair but their competitive matches form isn’t as impressive as their friendlies. They were dumped out of the 2011 Under 21 Championships at the group stage after two draws and a final round defeat to the Czech Republic when well fancied. In qualifying they lost in Belgium in a match they were expected to win and anything but a win in their first game against Italy in Group A could see them needed a faultless run to make the semi-finals.
The winner of Group A could boil down to the first match, England vs Italy. The winner will go into the two fixtures against the lesser fancied opposition with their tails up and we think Italy are the bet to win Group A at 13/10. Expect England to follow them into the semi-finals, the forecast is 15/8 with Bet Victor.
European Championships Group A Betting Tips
Italy to win Group A – 5/4 with Coral
Italy/England straight forecast – 15/8 with Bet Victor
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See all European Under 21 Championships odds