UEFA European Championship U-21 is back this year in Italy and San Marino. The tournament, which is also considered the early stage for the future stars, is held in two countries for the first time. However, unlike most double-host championships, only one host country, Italy, is given a privilege to qualify directly while San Marino, unfortunately, is not. As the cup is in full swing, you can track the odds on it on 22BET sportsbook: https://22bet.co.uk/sport
This year EURO U-21 edition, in which VAR (Video Assistant Referee) technology will be introduced for the first time, is regarded as the European qualifying round for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games too. All three group winners plus one best runner-up in the tournament will qualify in Japan next year. However, should England be one of the semi finalists, certain play-off will be played. It is due to the fact that England is not a member of IOC (International Olympics Committee).
U21 Players to Watch
Despite the play-off complexity, the 2019 UEFA European Championship U-21 will not lack of its attractions as a number of young stars in top European leagues this season have been included in their teams official squad. Some notable ones are the newly transferred Real Madrid striker, Luka Jovic (Serbia), Madrid’s midfielder who won golden ball in the previous edition, Dani Ceballos (Spain), RB Leipzig’s regular defender, Lukas Klostermann (Germany), Crystal Palace’s defender who has been Manchester United’s upcoming target in the summer transfer, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and the ‘English Iniesta’ in Manchester City, Phil Foden (both from England), Lyon’s main scorer, Moussa Dembele (France) and Italian Serie-A top talents, Nicolo Barella, Nicolo Zaniolo, Federico Chiesa and Juventus sensational youngster, Moise Kean (Italy).
Favourite U21 Teams
With those talents who have been called up for Euro 2020 qualifiers recently in the squad as well as being the host of the 2019 UEFA European Championship U-21, Italy is obviously the main favourite of the tournament. They have an opportunity to win their sixth title although it may not be easy. Their main contenders are England, Spain and surely the reigning Champions Germany.
UEFA U21 Euro Predictions
In the group stage, all favourites will not advance to semi final without difficulty. In group A, for example, the host and Spain will have to compete for being the group winner. The Italian side will possibly win against Belgium and Poland but might be involved in a tie game against Spain. The goal difference will probably play bigger role to decide the one on the top. Their key player’s experience in the senior squad could enable them to score more goals than Spain, which rely on less well-known scorer such as Borja Mayoral or Pablo Fornals.
Meanwhile in group B, Germany is likely to be challenged by Serbia with Luka Jovic and Fiorentina’s defender, Nikola Milenkovic in it and the dark horse Denmark. Yet, Der Panzer’s strong mentality could lead them to win in all three games and seal the top of the standings while Serbia and Denmark will fight for the runner-up spot.
In group C, England have more convincing players in their squad than France. James Maddison, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Demarai Gray, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Harvey Barnes, Phil Foden and Angus Gunn are more used to the competitive matches in the Premier League. Meanwhile, France only have Dayot Upamecano (RB Leipzig), Moussa Dembele and Houssem Aourar (Lyon) plus Matteo Guendouzi (Arsenal) in their squad. They should provide the necessary rivalry for The Three Lions in the group. However, England should potentially topple France on the standings.
If all goes well, Italy will be playing against France as the best runner-up in the semifinal while the other one could be the replay of the 2017 edition, Germany versus England. This will be tough to predict. Yet, the ideal final would be between the reigning champions and the host. Italy might eventually end their long wait since 2004 by winning the 2019 UEFA European Championship U-21. As for the Olympic game play-off, Spain will be up against Serbia. The Matador could potentially secure one spot in Tokyo 2020.