Betting Special: Backing the Dutch dark horses to triumph in the European Under-21 Championship

As usual, the Spaniards are expected to sweep aside all before them in Israel this summer but our tipster thinks that an experienced Netherlands team could lift the trophy
A selection of Europe’s most talented young players travel to Israel this summer, in order to take part in the European Under-21 Championship.

As with every international tournament they have entered in recent years, holders Spain are the clear favourites to collect the trophy, at odds of 7/4 (2.75) with Paddy Power.

European Under-21 Championship

Odds from Paddy Power
Spain 7/4
Germany 7/2
England 5/1
Italy 11/2
Netherlands 13/2
Russia 16/1
Considering the inclusion of such experienced players as David de Gea, Barcelona's Thiago, Iker Muniain and Malaga star Isco in the squad, it is no surprise at all that Julen Lopetegui’s side are tipped for the top.

German football is riding the crest of a wave after an all-Bundesliga Champions League final and their youngsters are expected to run the Spanish the closest for the title, with odds of 7/2 (4.50) on offer.

England come into the tournament on the back of nine consecutive wins without conceding a goal, but their poor record against the elite teams would surely make backing them at 5/1 (6.00) more hope than expectation.

Record five-times winners Italy last triumphed back in 2004 but, having failed to qualify at all for the last tournament, their squad featuring a number of Serie B loanees are slight outsiders at 11/2 (6.50) to emerge victorious.

With 63 full international caps between them, Netherlands look like they could well be the dark horses in Israel, as a difficult group alongside Spain and Germany sees them available at a hefty 13/2 (7.50) to regain the trophy they won twice in a row between 2006 and 2007.

The likes of Kevin Strootman and Luuk De Jong were all included in the Euro 2012 squad and that extra experience makes them excellent value to escape the ‘Group of Death’ and go all the way.

Russia complete that tough Group B line-up, and will therefore be up against it to win their first trophy since the collapse of the Soviet Union, at odds of 16/1 (17.00).

As hosts, Israel’s status as top seeds saw them earn favourable group, but they look unlikely to bother the favourites in only their second-ever appearance at this competition, with odds of 20/1 (21.00) available on them causing an upset.

At the very least, Guy Luzon’s outfit will be hoping to kick things off with a win in the opening fixture against Norway, who are rank outsiders at 25/1 (26.00).

Netherlands to win the Euro Under-21 Championship at 13/2 (7.50) with Paddy Power

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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.

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