U21 Euro Championship: Spain to rule over Russia

6Jun 2013


The group of death, Group B, kicks off on Thursday and Christian Crowther has some tips to accompany the matches...

Spain U21 v Russia U21, Thursday 17:00, Sky Sports 2, Match Odds: Spain U21 1.59, Russia U21 7.0, The Draw 4.2

Holders Spain kick off their defence against a Russian team who they have beaten in their last three competitive meetings and who are considered the real outsiders to qualify form Group B. A cursory glance at the two sides' differing qualification campaigns goes some way to backing up this notion.

The Spanish won all but one of their ten qualifying fixtures en route to Israel, only dropping points against Switzerland in Group 5, the team that they overcame in the 2011 final.

As a result, it's not difficult to see why they have been installed as the 2.92 pre-tournament favourites. They simply pummelled Group 4 runners-up Denmark in their two-legged qualifying play-off, thrashing them 8-1 on aggregate in their last competitive matches back in October.

Since then, the likes of Barcelona's Thiago Alcantara and Malaga's Isco have helped La Roja win three out of their four friendlies - including a 3-1 win over Russia back in March - averaging exactly three goals per game. They have however conceded in every one of their last five matches.

Best Bet: Back Spain U21 to score three goals or more @ 3.15
Other Recommended Bet: Back both teams to score @ 1.96

Netherlands U21 v Germany U21, Thursday 19:30, Sky Sports 2, Match Odds: Germany U21 2.6, Netherlands 3.05, The Draw 3.45

Winners of this tournament in 2009, Germany arrive in Israel looking to go all the way after a sensational qualifying campaign. They swept aside all-comers in Group 1, dropping points only once against a Bosnia side they still managed to finish eight points clear of.

Finishing the group stage with a +30 goal difference highlights just what a free-scoring, slick outfit Germany are, led by skipper Lewis Holtby, who joined Tottenham in January.

Meanwhile the Dutch have taken a while to get back into finals shape since winning the trophy twice in 2006 and 2007, having missed out on the last two editions.

The Jong Oranje were worthy winners of Group 10, though a loss and a draw against Scotland - whose only other qualifying victories came against Luxembourg - en route to the finals suggests that this Germany side may be too strong to contend with.

Recommended Bet: Back Germany U21 to beat Netherlands U21 @ 2.6


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Keywords: U21 Euro Championship, Spain, Russia

Source: Betfair

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