European Under-21 Championship – Semi-Finals Betting Preview and Predictions
The group stage of the 2019 UEFA U21 European Championship is over, so it’s time to move to the last four.
Spain, Germany, France, and Romania remain, and one will become the eventual winner.
In this post, I will share my prediction on which team has the best chances and also explore the latest betting odds available.
Before that, I will also analyze both semi-finals and see if there are any bets that contain positive expected value. They will be played this Thursday, while the final is on Sunday.
Spain U21 vs. France U21 – Odds, Predictions, and Pick
The first semi-final features the winner from Group A, Spain, and the runner-up from Group C, France. The start of the former in the tournament was pretty bad. Italy beat Spain 3-1 in a very physical game, and it looked like the team might struggle to qualify.
Two wins against Belgium and Poland were enough to overcome what was probably the toughest group in the tournament. The trashing of the Polish team by 5-0 was especially impressive and showcased how good Spain can be when they find their rhythm.
The style of the side is typical for the traditions of the country. There are plenty of technical players who are excellent in keeping the ball and creating chances. The likes of Soler, Ceballos, and Merino are masters of short passing and quick movement without the ball.
They will now face a French side that looks capable of winning games without shining too much. The country won the first two encounters in Group C, after a late comeback against England and a dull 1-0 over Croatia.
France needed a draw in the last round to progress and got it against Romania. Many believe both countries destroyed fair play with this one, as the tie was enough for both sides to progress and we saw no shots on goal.
I don’t know what exactly happened there, but I won’t be drawing too many conclusions from this particular match.
In the other two matches, France looked steady and controlled the tempo. The defense was strong and the team didn’t allow the opposition many chances. At the same time, France struggled to create themselves.
I would say this is a side that will be really tough to break in the knockouts, but probably lacks a bit of quality up front to be a real favorite for the title.
The good news for France is that they have a blueprint of how to beat Spain, thanks to Italy. They must press the opposition hard and make the game physical. That could disrupt the rhythm of the gifted Spanish midfield and create opportunities for France on the counter.
I’m not exactly sure if the side will be able to execute such a game plan, but I expect a tight game. The price of 1.83 for under 2.5 goals looks like the best bet right now, so that’s my final pick for this match.
Germany U21 vs. Romania U21 – Odds, Predictions, and Pick
The second clash from the U21 UEFA Championship last four will be between Germany and Romania. I don’t think anyone expected the Eastern European country to win a group with France, England, and Croatia, but the team displayed a devastating attack.
If we exclude the last match against France (for the reasons I mentioned above), Romania was the most exciting team of the tournament in the group stages. It all started with a 4-1 win over Croatia in the opener, but the next game was the true surprise.
Romania beat England by 4-2 in one of the craziest matches you will ever see. All goals came after the 75th minute and Florinel Coman was the hero with a brace in the 88th and 93rd minute of the game.
England dominated most of the match before that and the Romanian goalkeeper Ionut Radu had multiple crucial stops to make sure that his side stayed in the game.
The overall impression is that Romania is not among the strongest teams in the tournament, but the country is very good at forcing mistakes and taking full advantage of them.
The big question is if Romania will be able to do the same against the big favorite in the tournament. Germany has been in ruthless form, scoring ten goals in the three games so far. Marco Richter and Luca Waldschmidt have been punishing the opposition with ease and the whole side is proof of how well the Germany youth system is working.
It’s hard to find any serious weakness in this squad, as it can both attack and defend well. The midfield is more than capable of protecting the back line and the transitions from attack to defense and vice versa are quick.
The only concern should be related to the lack of clean sheets so far in the tournament. Romania is a team that can most certainly take advantage of any lapse of concentration at the back.
Germany had at least one or two of those in every game up to this point. On the other hand, the defense of Romania will most likely struggle to contain the powerful attack of the favorites.
Backing the young Germans to win at the price of 1.62 is not the worst idea in the world, but the odds of 1.72 for over 2.5 goals in this match look better to me.
I can see both sides scoring, so my prediction would be something like 3-1 for Germany.
2019 UEFA U21 Championship Outright Winner – Odds and Pick
Most specialists and online betting sites believe we will witness a final between Germany and Spain. While I can definitely agree on the former, I expect a tough clash between France and Spain.
I think it could very well go beyond the regular time. Even if it doesn’t, both sides will throw a lot of energy in this match. If the Germans do win their semi-final, they should be fresher in the final.
The price of 2.75 looks high enough if you ask me, so I will be backing the favorite to win the 2019 UEFA Under-21 European Championship.
The youth soccer tournaments can be surprising, as the lack of experience often leads to many errors. That’s why I would recommend you to be careful with the size of your bets. Anything could happen in the last couple of games.
And yet, Germany seems like the big favorite to lift the trophy. They’re my pick, and you can back them (or another team if you prefer) at any of our recommended betting sites.
Do you agree with my opinion or do you have other ideas for the 2019 UEFA U21 Championship finale? Make sure to share them in the comments below.