Our football expert shares betting tips for the two UEFA U21 European Championship semi-finals taking place in Georgia and Romania.
Israel vs England (Wednesday 16:00 UTC)
The Batumi Arena, Batumi in Georgia hosts the first match of our semi-final preview. The two nations’ borders are not only furthest in distance but also in odds. Victory heavily leans towards the Three Lions, as they have already beaten the Mediterranean team in the group stages of the competition 2-0. A similar result could be likely again at 6.11.
England has had a solid journey through the competition, scoring seven goals in four games. Amongst their scalps were tournament favourites Germany and Czechia in the group stages, and Portugal after a slim 1-0 victory in the quarter-finals. A marginal win again stands at 5.45.
Anthony Gordon was the lone goal scorer last game, getting his second of the competition. The forward joined the Magpies from Everton in the January transfer window and can look forward to continuing his good form in Europe next season, in the Champions League. With the same goal tally, Arsenal midfielder Emile Smith Rowe provides the next best opportunity. Indeed both players put goals past their forthcoming opponents in their last meet. England match goals over 1.5 1.641.
Israel has surpassed expectations in the competition to reach the semi-finals. Though the road has been especially rocky, with a nail-biting penalty shootout against Georgia in the quarter-finals and a win, loss and draw in the group stages seeing them scrape through as runners-up. Their only loss was against an Anglo side who have yet to concede a goal. In stark contrast, this side has only scored two goals total across the competition, from Omri Gandelman and Dor David Turgeman respectively. Questions will be asked about their attacking and defensive potential in this late stage of the competition. Israel match handicap +2 1.306.
Israel’s run of fortune could well have reached its limit, as they face a rampant English side who are proven at both ends of the pitch. 1×2 8.170 4.330 1.446.
Spain vs Ukraine (Wednesday 19:00 UTC)
The Steaua Stadium, Bucharest in Romania hosts an East-West bout which is a familiar story to the earlier days fixture. Odds favour Spain, however, the Ukrainian side’s attacking potential cannot be discounted. When the teams met a week ago, it was goals galore, ending 2-2. A 90th-minute goal from Abel Ruiz saved the Iberians from the jaws of defeat. The same result in 90 minutes is 15.83.
The Red and Yellows have scored eight goals across the competition, although their defence isn’t bullet proof having conceded three. Taking inspiration from their senior counterparts they advanced into the semis having beaten Croatia 1-0, with the ever-present Braga forward Ruiz sealing the Balkan team’s fate with a goal in the first minute. The same result has odds of 8.13.
Other opportunities could come from left side of the Spanish attack via Juan Miranda and Sergio Gomez, both with two goals each this tournament. Spain as the first team to score is 1.543.
Ukraine qualified from Group B under Spain via goal difference. Progressing to the semis with a grand second-half comeback against France, ultimately winning 3-1. Although unlikely, another score like this to the Yellow and Blues is at 38.13. The most prominent member of the squad this tournament could well Georgiy Sudakov, the Shakhtar attacking midfielder has scored three goals in this competition. European clubs seem to have taken notice, with a possible move to Northern Italy not out of the question this transfer window.
Rumours aside, it is widely anticipated that there will be goals abound to see who will progress to the final. Total goals in ordinary time, over 3.5 2.91.A difficult to predict, with both sides having a score to settle after an indecisive first encounter. Ukraine cannot be discounted, though the statistics aptly show Spain as the favourites, they’ll have to fight for it. It’ll be a close encounter – 1×2 1.649 4.120 5.100.
**Odds are subject to change. Odds accurate as of 12:00 UTC+00:00 Tuesday 4th July**
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