England U21 V France U21 Betting Tips: Both Teams to Score – 18 June 2019

Group favourites clash in U-21 Euro

International Football Tips

England U-21 V France U-21

Tuesday 18 June 2019 – 20:00 Kick-Off

International, UEFA European Championship

Pick: Both Teams to Score @ 10/11 Bet365

 

Only the group winners are assured of a place in the latter stages of the competition. That makes this opening Group C contest all the more intriguing as two of the outright tournament favourites clash in Cesena inside the Stadio Dino Manuzzi, with England taking on France.

Betfair make England slight favourites at 6/4, with a France win rated a 15/8 chance. The draw is available at 11/5.

 

Recent Trends

  • England progressed to these finals with a qualifying record of W8 D2 L0, scoring 23 and conceding 4.
  • France progressed to these finals with a qualifying record of W9 D1 L0, scoring 24 and conceding 6.
  • The only previous meeting between these two countries at U21 level was back in 2016, which was won by France 3-2.

 

England Preview

Losing semi-finalists two years ago, England have been installed as 9/2 third-favourites to improve on that run and claim a first European Championship for 35 years. Had they called up the strongest available players eligible for selection then perhaps that price would have been a spot of value, but as it stands this squad still feels too light to make it all the way to the final on 30 June.

That isn’t to say they cannot and will not do well, because there are reasons to believe they could surprise a few, me included. There are some technically brilliant midfielders in the team (Phil Foden and James Maddison especially); Harvey Barnes, Ryan Sessegnon and Reiss Nelson could all potentially reproduce some of their league form from last season and cause problems down the wings, while the strikers do all score goals at this level.

The biggest weakness rests in their defence, with a lack of top level experience likely to be a significant factor at these finals. Only Aaron Wan-Bissaka featured regularly in the Premier League last season, with the other defenders comprising mainly of Championship players. It’s a rearguard which is likely to be exposed often over the course of this tournament, and it is perhaps telling that in the four friendlies since qualifying concluded last year, England have played four times and failed to keep a single clean sheet – beating Italy (1-2) and Denmark (1-5), drawing to Poland (1-1) and losing to Germany (1-2).

Therefore we can expect England to play to their strengths in these finals, which will be on the front foot looking to use their many creative, forward-thinking midfielders to open up the opposition. Scoring goals shouldn’t be an issue, it’s whether they can keep them out.

 

England U21 to beat France U21
6/4

Bet365

 

 

France Preview

The senior side have raised the standards on the back of their World Cup triumph last summer, and now the Under-21 side are expected to back that up with victory in their first appearance at a European Championship for 13 years. Talk about pressure. They are, however, around 5/1 to do so and one quick glance through their squad is enough to realise why that price may not be as outrageous as it seems.

Unlike their English adversaries, this is a France squad boasting a lot of seasoned professionals. That sounds odd to describe players so young but it really is true. Defenders Dayot Upemecano and Ibrahima Konate have played over 40 times in Leipzig’s first-team, midfielders Lucas Tousart and Houssem Aouar feature regularly for Lyon, while it is easy to forget that former Celtic striker Moussa Dembele is still only 22. These are all players that have played Champions League football.

So it is a team with a healthy blend of all the ingredients you would want from a potential U21 champion: raw and hungry talent complemented by experienced performers who have played in the top leagues against the best players. Throw in a combative Matteo Guendouzi, who will know all about these England players, and it’s a frightening prospect.

Their form since qualifying, however, would suggest these players have still not come together as a collective. Draws with Spain (1-1) and Germany (2-2) were encouraging, but losses to Denmark (0-1) and Austria (3-1) were damaging, with victory over Belgium (3-1) their only taste of victory in five friendlies since wrapping up qualification.

 

Betting Tips

Both Teams to Score – 10/11 Bet365

 

Betting Conclusion

While qualifying was a breeze for both, their respective form in friendly matches since then will have sparked some concern among both camps. It is a fair assessment that both teams can consider their attacking department to be a particular strength of theirs, and for that reason I feel goals could be the way to go.

England failed to keep a clean sheet in their four friendlies since securing qualification, while France played one game more to prepare for this tournament and could only manage one shut out. Therefore the play is to back both teams scoring.


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