England’s Under-21s head to Israel this week for the 2013 European Championships and they’re one of fives teams, of the eight competing, given a realistic chance of lifting the trophy in what looks a tough-to-call competition.
Stuart Pearce’s in-form charges qualified impressively, winning seven of their eight matches and securing victory in both play-off clashes against Serbia and that’s enough to make them third favourites at a high of 6/1 with bet365, to go all the way.
A favourable draw means that England will face hosts Israel, Norway and Italy in the group phase and they’re a tasty 5/4 (Stan James) to top the pile in Group A, although an equally enticing proposition is Coral’s 11/10 for them to be eliminated in the last four.
A likely scenario is that the eventual victor will come from Group B, where holders Spain and Germany look like the sides set to progress. The Spanish are in splendid shape and know what it takes to prevail in this tournament having done so two years ago so it’s perhaps not surprising that Skybet have installed them as 2/1 favourites to retain the trophy.
However, German football is on something of a roll after Bayern Munich’s Champions League success and although coach Rainer Adrion will have to do without eligible stars such as Julian Draxler, Mario Gotze and Ilkay Gundogan, his squad led by Tottenham’s Lewis Holtby is certainly one to watch given the blend of exciting youngsters and players with plenty of Bundesliga (and in Holtby’s case Premier League) experience. They’re the stand out bet at 9/2 via Coral.