Home and Away: Young Lions look for 10th consecutive win and clean sheet V Italy U21

5Jun 2013

Betfair

Jonno Turner looks at U19 and U21 European Championship action in today's Home and Away column...

We're off to Norway for our first pick of the day - as Netherlands U19 face Norway U19 in Mjondalen, desperate to book their place in the last eight of the tournament.

The Dutch, managed by Wim van Zwam (gonna make you my man), line up for this clash in impressive form, and will be desperate to maintain those results in other to get a foothold in what is a tricky elite group.

Five wins from six will have morale in the Oranje camp high, and with encounters against Cyprus and Germany still to come in this mini-league, and just one qualification place up for grabs, they will be keen to get three points on the board early here.

Just one loss from their last 10 suggests that van Zwam's side are more than capable of holding out their opponents here - and, with much of this side the same as the one which won the U17 championship in 2011, there will be high hopes of securing a second successive championship.

Fifteen goals smashed in their last five outings suggests that the Netherlands are a major threat in the final third, and they will be looking to take advantage of a Norwegian defence which has kept just one clean sheet in seven.

Oivind Nilsen's side line up for this clash having failed to win in four of their last seven outings, and a draw and win in two final warm up fixtures against Switzerland saw them looking a little out of sorts at times.

A 2-1 loss to Slovakia in their last competitive fixture on their own patch will have knocked confidence in the home camp, and they will know that a positive result here is key if they are to stand a chance of booking their place in Lithuania.

But just two wins from five on Norwegian soil suggests that Nilsen's charges are far from formidable on their own patch, and I think that the quality of the Dutch will be too much for them.

Bet 1: Netherlands U19 (AWAY) @ 1.7

Switching our attentions to Tel Aviv now, as England U21 face Italy U21 in their opening Group A tie of the European Championships.

Stuart Pearce's England side will be full of confidence ahead of this clash, having won their last nine consecutive games - and, incredibly, they haven't even conceded a goal in that time.

Psycho has quality throughout his squad, and, importantly - experience too, with five of his clan having made appearances for the senior side already.

England's backline, with Butland between the sticks, has looked incredibly solid of late, and that stands them in good stead to hold out even sides of Italy's ilk.

The young Lions will see winning this tournament as a real possibility, and are favourites alongside five times winners Italy to qualify for the knockout stages - but will be keen to kick off the competition with three points here.

Devis Mangia's side line up for this one in similarly impressive form, but just three wins from their last five suggests that there are weaknesses in the Azzurri squad.

And eight goals conceded in their last five indicates that England are likely to be presented with a chance or two this evening.

This promises to be a tight and exciting encounter, and I think that England are way too big at 3.15 to come out on top here - in a contest between two sides full of confidence and momentum.

Bet 2: England (HOME) @ 3.15

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Keywords: Home and Away, Young Lions, Italy U21

Source: Betfair

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