The next generation of stars are in action this summer, as Europe’s best young players head to the Under 21 European Championships in Italy. The tournament brings together the future of some of Europe’s biggest nations, with England taking a promising young squad to the tournament. However, can they win this tournament for the first time since 1984?
Many will be interested in the potential stars of the future, and we have you covered. You can see our players to watch and predictions for the individual awards like the Golden Boot right here. However, which side will claim glory in this summer’s Championships?
Given the depth of the top European squads, winning this tournament will be tough. Germany, France and Spain can’t stop producing talented stars while Italy are out for redemption this summer. Ahead of the tournament, we’re looking at the latest betting odds and making our own predictions. We’re looking everything from potential winners to the betting odds to win each group.
How are England Shaping up?
However, this isn’t just any England squad. This generation come into the Under 21 tournament already proven. This squad contains 11 players from the one which won the Under 20 World Cup in 2017, along with a few of the Under 19 European champions from the same year. There are also proven Premier League talents; the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, James Maddison and Demarai Gray. Those players are all being linked with big money moves this summer.
With a talented and successful squad heading to Italy, the Young Lions are 9/2 with BetVictor to win the tournament. That makes them joint-favourites alongside Spain and France. Aidy Boothroyd’s side clearly have the ability, they just need to impress once again on the big stage.
Under 21 Euros Winner
However, there are only four spots available in the second round so someone will be going home early. We have plenty of options in the outright winner market, but we see Spain triumphing above the rest. While all of the top sides have talent, there are ominous signs for the rest of the pack in this Spanish setup.
Real Madrid are pushing youth players in their squad, which has helped the depth of the side at this tournament. Captain Jesus Vallejo has got minutes under Zinedine Zidane, while he’s the bedrock of the Under 21’s defence. In midfield, Golden Ball winner at the 2017 tournament Dani Ceballos returns, joined in midfield by Napoli’s Fabian Ruiz, Valencia’s Carlos Soler and £30million West Ham target Pablo Fornals. We’ve also backed Ceballos for a 12/1 individual success here.
Spain’s success has always been built around their midfield engine, this year is likely to be no different. We’re backing the Spanish for glory in Italy, which comes priced at 9/2 with bet365.
To Reach the Final
Just getting to the Under 21 Euros is a challenge these days, with over 50 European nations whittled down to 12 sides. The qualifying process is long, while only a third of the qualified sides get out of the group. It’s a much higher bar than the Euros or even the World Cup. Going far in this competition is difficult and is an impressive achievement.
For that reason, getting to the final is tough, which is reflected in the betting odds. The Spanish are 2/1 with Betfair to make it to the last game. We certainly see that as value, given that the Spanish have been in three of the last four finals of this tournament. As for their potential opponents, that’s a case of looking towards the contenders to qualify from each group this summer.
Finally, England face a fight to make it out of their group. They’re battling with a French side who have talent throughout their youth setup. The first place race in Group C is the closest of the three, with England narrowly ahead of the French. However, given that the Young Lions are bringing proven World Cup and European Championship winners, we like their price of evens with Betfair to win Group C in Italy this summer.