The European Under-21 Championship will get underway in Poland on Friday, as Sweden take on England at the Kolporter Arena.
Having seen the Under-20 side lift the World Cup only last week, the Young Lions are 8/11 (1.73) favourites with Paddy Power to get their own title bid off to a winning start in Kielce.
However, Hakan Ericson's side are reigning champions after winning the 2017 edition, and are available at 16/5 (4.20) to begin their title defence with a victory here.
That triumph was secured on penalties after a 0-0 draw in the final, and you can get odds of 5/2 (3.50) on the holders playing out another stalemate in this one.
Following on from a runners-up medal at the Under-17 European Championship and second consecutive Toulon Tournament win, victory at the Under-20 World Cup was just the latest in a highly successful summer for English football.
After an impressive qualification campaign, the Under-21s will feel rightly confident of adding to the feel-good factor with a strong performance in Poland.
Aidy Boothroyd’s team won six and lost none of their eight qualification matches en route to this competition, scoring 20 goals and conceding just three along the way.
Indeed, there is no reason to expect that form to dip based on their most recent performance – a 4-0 friendly victory over a Denmark team that qualified for this competition with nine wins and no defeats to their name in 10 games.
Having lost 2-0 to that same Danish outfit only last week to make it two defeats in three fixtures, the Blue-Yellow do not look in particularly convincing shape as they prepare to defend their title.
In fact, those 8/11 (1.73) odds seem well worth backing on England extending the positive national mood by overcoming a Swedish team they actually defeated 1-0 in the 2015 group stages.
|England to win at 8/11 (1.73) for a 2.5pt stake with Paddy Power|