Serbia v Czech Republic – Letna Stadium at 17:00 live on BT Sport 1
The second round of group stage matches at this year’s U21 European Championships kicks off this evening with Serbia facing hosts the Czech Republic, in a crucial match which could well see the losing side effectively eliminated from the tournament.
With pre-tournament favourites Germany and a strong Danish team also in Group A, it is no real shock to see the Czech’s in some trouble early on. But the Serbian team pulled off a huge upset by drawing with the Germans in their opening fixture and so should come into this game full of confidence.
However, the Czech’s acquitted themselves well in defeat against Denmark in the opening fixture of the tournament and head coach Jakub Dovalil will be trying to focus on the positive first half they produced in that match.
The Czech’s did not let their more superior opponents settle into their own game during that first 45 minutes and were justifiably ahead at half time thanks to Pavel Kaderabek’s fine individual goal. But, they are going to need to come up with a similarly energetic display for the whole match this time, if they are to have any chance of qualifying for the semi-finals.
Serbia also surprised Germany by taking an early lead through their own impressive individual goal, as Filip Djuricic opened the defence with a beautiful piece of skill before slotting the ball past Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the German goal.
In terms of the betting markets for this match, Serbia are priced up at 2.5 favourites and based on the opening round games that price seems fair enough. The Asian handicap betting line here is set at 0.25 and this could well be a very close match.
The Czech Republic will not go down in front of their own fans without a fight and Serbia’s defence can certainly be vulnerable to the likes of Kaderabek and the returning Vaclav Kadlec. Plus, Tomas Kalas is also certain to reclaim his usual central defensive position to add some quality at the back.
With these upgrades to the Czech team and value in their price, we are more than happy to back the host nation to claim their first points of the tournament tonight.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Czech Republic +0.25 at 1.82
German v Denmark – Eden Stadium at 19:45 live on BT Sport 1
The big clash in Group A comes later in the day as Germany take on group leaders Denmark it what promises to be a high quality affair between two of the best U21 teams in the world.
Unfortunately for German fans their team did show much of their undoubted talent in the opening match, where they laboured to a 1-1 draw and finished the game with ten men after Christian Gunter’s second yellow card on 68 minutes.
The Danes were also in some trouble at 1-0 down to the Czech Republic but their quality shone through in the second half as they came from behind to claim all three points. Some of the football they played in the second half was outstanding and if they can find that rhythm again early on tonight, the Germans will have a tough task living with them for 90 minutes.
Horst Hrubesch was let down by a number of his highly regarded starlets but at least he has a host of options to call on, in an effort to find a winning formula. One area which needs to be reorganised is their attack because Philipp Hofmann was poor against the Serb’s and second half substitute Leonardo Bittencourt, surely deserves a start after making a huge impact off the bench.
Emre Can was easily the Germans best player and together with Bittencourt and Kevin Volland in attack, this team should be scoring against any defence in the world.
Jess Thorup will be well aware that his team could face a backlash from the wounded German team and so will be keen to avoid another slow start tonight. That could well mean making a few changes to his team as well and having come off the bench to score the winner, Pione Sisto is pushing for start tonight. Lasse Christensen also made a good impression when coming on, so there are plenty of options for the Danish coach to pick from as well.
The bookies are keeping the faith with Germany tonight and have them priced up at just 1.75 to beat this classy Danish side, which looks too short in our opinion and might offer some juicy value on the Asian handicap betting market.
The line here is set at 0.75 and based on the opening matches Denmark are more than capable of matching their more favoured opponents. With progression to the semi-finals in their sights and the chance to put another nail in the German coffin, we are comfortable backing the underdogs here who look great value to cause an upset.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Denmark +0.75 at 1.98
Prices correct at the time of writing
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