After experiencing contrasting fortunes in their respective European Under-21 Championships openers, Czech Republic and Italy meet on Wednesday evening for a crucial clash from Group C.
The Azzurri are the most successful nation in the history of this competition with five wins and their bid for a sixth title started in serene fashion as they cruised to a comfortable 2-0 win against Denmark on Sunday evening.
Only one team from each group is guaranteed a place in the final four of the competition and, with a clash against Group C favourites Germany still to come, Luigi Di Biagio’s boys know that there is no room for error when they face the Czechs. Italy are chalked up as Paddy Power’s 8/13 (1.62) favourites to pick up their second win of the competition in this one.
Czech Republic were beaten 2-0 by Germany in their Group C curtain raiser and, as such, Vitezslav Lavicka’s side will be acutely aware that, for them, it is win or bust when they go head-to-head with the Azzurri. A chunky 9/2 (5.50) is available that the Czechs keep their campaign alive with a famous victory, with 11/4 (3.75) that the match ends in stalemate.
There were fewer than three goals scored in both of the opening games of this group and there is just 4/6 (1.67) that the trend continues when these rivals clash, but there is plenty of potential for goals to flow in this game.
There have been at least three goals scored in nine of the Czechs’ last 11 fixtures, while Di Biagio’s team have scored in four of their last five outings. Paddy Power’s 11/10 (2.10) quote, therefore, for more than two goals to be scored in this game could well prove popular with punters.
The same firm offer a tempting even money (2.0) that there are goals at both ends – a selection that would have paid dividends in six of Czech Republic’s last eight outings, with 6/4 (2.50) that the Italians win to nil - that particular play would have landed in seven of the last nine games that Di Biagio’s team have won.
With the Italians in decent form in the final third of the pitch, the 5/6 (1.83) quote for the Azzurri to score more than once may well attract support, but better value could lie in backing more than two goals to be scored at 11/10 (2.10) ahead of Wednesday’s crucial clash from Group C.
|Over 2.5 goals at 11/10 (2.10) for a 2pt stake with Paddy Power|