On June 16, the best under-21 International teams across Europe will meet in Poland to commence the 2017 Under-21 European Championships. With a plethora of young talent taking part, bettors can look forward to a summer of enthralling soccer which includes plenty of value in the under-21 European Championships odds. Read on for some expert soccer betting insight.
An in-depth look at the Under-21 European Championships odds
Before delving into the main contenders for the tournament, here are the top five teams in Pinnacle’s under-21 European Championships odds – the best available soccer betting odds online:
The Under-21 European Championships is a biennial tournament comprising of the best under-21 International teams in Europe. This year’s competition, hosted by Poland, will be the first time the competition will have 12 teams battling it out for the trophy, with previous years only hosting 8.
After enduring a meticulous qualification tournament, the 12 that remain have been divided into three groups. The winner of each group and the best runner-up will progress to the semi-finals where the tournament shifts to a knockout format, with the final taking place on 30th June in Kraków - bettors should be aware of the differences between youth and senior soccer and know how to use an Under-21 European betting strategy to get the best value.
Below is how the groups look ahead of the Under-21 European Championships:
Under-21 European Championships groups
Under-21 European Championships odds - the favourites
Germany is one of the favourites in Pinnacle’s Under-21 European Championships odds and is currently priced at 5.080*. Their under-21’s squad could rival many International first teams on paper. Stefan Kuntz’s side won all of their 10 qualifying games, scoring on average more than three goals per game.
The likes of Julian Weigl, Max Meyer and Leroy Sane have all starred for Germany’s first team, with the latter playing in Euro 2016. These are but a few household names in the German under-21 ranks, with the majority of the squad playing regularly in one of Europe's top leagues.
Germany were unable to qualify for the tournament in 2011, failed to get out of the group stages in 2013 and crashed out in the semi-finals in 2015.
Yet, despite Germany’s first team’s renowned ability to perform at big tournaments, their under-21’s have struggled in recent years. Although their squads have included an overabundance of soccer talent, they were unable to qualify for the tournament in 2011, failed to get out of the group stages in 2013 and crashed out in the semi-finals in 2015, losing 5-0 to Portugal.
Will the talent within the German ranks perform under the pressure of a major tournament? They have excelled within the qualifying rounds, but can they transfer that good form to when it matters most?
It comes as no surprise to see Spain at the top of the Under-21 European Championships odds at 4.060*. La Roja has won the competition on four occasions, including two of the last three and regularly feature as favourites in Pinnacle’s international soccer betting.
Similarly to Germany, their squad includes some of the best young talent in Europe. Munir El Haddadi, Saúl Ñíguez and Héctor Bellerín are only a few names of Spanish players eligible for selection that are excelling with their clubs. They also have Gerard Delofeu who was in fine form during qualifying, scoring seven goals in ten qualifying games.
Despite their attacking prowess, Spain only qualified as the best runner-up. Their performance in qualifying has meant that they have been grouped with two undefeated sides throughout qualifying; Portugal and FYR Macedonia. Yet, the odds reflect the quality that runs through the side. If their big names perform on one of the biggest stages, could Spain be a smart bet?
England under-21’s has followed in their first team's footsteps when it comes to recent major competitions; qualifying strongly yet falling short in the tournament itself. For the past three years, the Young Lions have sailed through their qualifying group, only to fail to make it to the knockout stages of the Under-21 European Championships.
Again, the side has qualified for the main tournament with ease, going undefeated on the way. Their strength lies at the back, only conceding a competition best of 3 goals in eight games during qualifying. There is Premier League quality running throughout Aidy Boothroyd’s side; including James Ward-Prowse, Demarai Gray and Nathan Redmond just a few names in their ranks.
England's strength lies at the back, only conceding a competition best of 3 goals in eight games during qualifying.
At odds of 10.150*, England will be going into the tournament as one of the favourites. Despite their disappointing performances at recent European Championships, they do have pedigree. They reached the final back in 2009, losing to a German side consisting of Mesut Özil, Manuel Neuer and Mats Hummels.
Their group will be difficult to escape; with Sweden (undefeated during qualifying), Slovakia and hosts Poland making the rest of the group. Yet, if England are able to get out of their group, their under-21 setup may have the ability to compete in the knockout stages.
Under-21 European Championships odds - finding value
Although they finished top of their qualifying group and in turn eliminated soccer superpower France, FYR Macedonia comes into the tournament as strong outsiders, with betting odds at 51.780*. It may be their first under-21 tournament, but they have proven their ability to compete against the biggest of names, drawing both of their qualifying matches with The Blues.
One of the most undervalued teams in the Under-21 European Championships odds could be Denmark (13.700*). The Danes qualified for the tournament undefeated, drawing just once.
Whilst Denmark's past performances in the tournaments are far from impressive, their squad includes numerous players who have been impressive at club level; not least Kasper Dolberg. The forward's performances in both the Eredivisie and Europa League has made some of Europe’s top clubs take notice, and could be a vital goalscorer for the Danes this Summer.
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