Czech Republic v Denmark – Eden Stadium, Prague at 17:00 live on BT Sport 1
The hosts kick off the tournament tonight in Prague against dark horses Denmark. Czech Republic coach Jakub Dovalil is hoping to pull off a surprise in the Group A opener as his side go into the game as underdogs and the competition as outsiders.
Although the Czech Republic are as big as 9.0 to win their group and are the least likely to qualify at 2.88, expectations from the home fans are high. They have won their last 3 matches but suffered a major blow when Watford owner blocked Matej Vydra’s call up which will leave them without much creativity going forward.
Douvalil has said they have paid a lot of attention to the strength and weaknesses of their opponents and they will be aware that on paper they are outmatched in most areas on the pitch. However, with home advantage and a strong crowd behind them, their players will be up for this and confident they can get something out of the game.
Denmark come into the competition thanks to winning their Group in qualification without losing. With 8 wins and 2 draws, scoring 37 and conceding 9, the 12.0 on them winning the tournament looks a little on the big side.
The Danes are without some of their big names but still bring a very strong squad to the Czech capital for their opening match including, Brock-Madsen, Hojbjerg, Christensen, Poulsen and Fischer who are all expected to start.
The Czech Republic shouldn’t cause the Danes defense too many problems and I expect Denmark to control possession and create enough chances to start the campaign with a win.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Denmark -0.25 @ 2.11
Germany v Serbia – Letná Stadium, Prague at 19:45 live on BT Sport
Tournament favourites Germany begin their campaign against the un-fancied Serbians this evening and looking at their squad its not hard to see why they are as short as 1.53 to start with a win.
Many teams in the competition are without big names due to clubs blocking them from joining the squads out in Prague, Serbia for instance are without Filip Kostic after Stuttgart banned him from joining. Germany on the other hand have an embarrassment of riches and could arguably name 2 starting XI’s that would be serious contenders for the Championship.
With players like Matthias Ginter, Ter Stegen, Kevin Volland, Christian Gunter, Maximilian Arnold and Max Meyer, who have already represented the senior side, they have so much depth in talent as well as experience.
Serbia qualified for the tournament as runners up of group 9, W6, L2, D2 scoring an average of 2 goals and conceding 1.1 goals per game. Coach Mladen Dodic believes they play their best football when up against stronger teams and takes confidence from their qualifying play-off win over Spain.
Dodic also takes inspiration from Serbia reaching the semi finals of the U20 World Cup in New Zealand and hopes to achieve similar with his young players.
Germany qualified top of group 6 winning 8 of their 10 matches and drawing twice. They scored 30 goals and conceded just 5 with Phillip Hofmann netting 7 times. It will be up to coach Horst Hrubesch if Hofmann starts as it’s not expected Germany will be, or need to be at full throttle at this stage of the tournament.
With some big players missing from Serbia’s squad and the never-ending talent in the German side, I can’t see anything other than a comfortable win for Germany this evening. Just by how much will be up to them but I don’t think they will push as hard as they can. With this in mind my recommendation will be to back them -1 on the Asian Handicap betting market @ 2.08 as I expect them to win by 2 even without their foot fully on the gas.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Germany -1 @ 2.08
Prices correct at time of writing.
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