With England, Italy, Uruguay and Venezuela in the semi-finals, this year’s Under-20 World Cup is sure to have a new name on the trophy.
Having won four and lost none of their five matches en route to the final four, the Young Lions are bet365’s 9/4 (3.25) favourites to claim their country’s first major honour at youth level since a Under-21 victory at the 1984 European Championship.
After scoring eight times and conceding just two so far, a team headlined by Premier League players such as Ademola Lookman, Lewis Cook and Dominic Solanke has many fans dreaming of glory.
However, Paul Simpson’s men must first come through a difficult semi-final clash with an Italian outfit boasting the talents of a number of Juventus, Milan and Inter youngsters, who are available at 3/1 (4.00) to go all the way.
After emerging victorious when the two countries came together in last year’s Under-19 European Championship, Alberigo Evani’s team are not be underestimated considering many of the same players involved in that clash will be turning out on both sides yet again.
Instead, better value may be found in backing a Uruguay team that overcame the Azzurrini in the group stages before knocking out Portugal last time out, and whose semi-final pits them against a Venezuela side that only edged to extra-time victories over Japan and the USA in the last two rounds.
Having finished five points clear at the top of the group-formatted South American Youth Football Championship in January, Fabian Coito’s men certainly look like a decent bet at 5/2 (3.50) to win a tournament in which they have twice finished runners-up.
Venezuela earned their place in South Korean after finishing third in that continental tournament, but can be backed at 11/4 (3.75) to end up on top of the pile in only their second ever appearance at the World Cup.