A flying start to his WLB career from Adam Goodwin (@AGJournalism). Here he shares his thoughts on Saturday night's Group C concluder from the European U21 Championship between Italy and Germany.
Italy U21 v Germany U21 | Saturday 19:45 | Sky Sports
Two of Europe’s biggest footballing nations will come up against each other on Saturday, in what is a crucial contest that is going to decide the outcome of Group C.
Both team’s qualifications hopes could be left relying on the other result in the group between Czech Republic and Denmark.
Not many people saw Italy’s defeat to Czech Republic coming. Especially not the bookmakers, who priced the Czech’s up at 5/1 before the match in Tychy.
The Italians looked like they would go on to win the game after Dominic Berardi equalised in the 70th minute. But two unanswered goals from the Czech’s, including an absolute screamer from centre back Michael Luftner, inflicted Italy to defeat.
The Azzurri had plenty of chances that they failed to capitalise on and the front three of Federico Bernardeschi, Dominic Berardi and Andrea Petagna constantly looked dangerous. With Juventus’ Daniel Rugani and AC Milan’s wantaway ‘keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma at the back, on paper Italy look a formidable force.
To finish top of the group, Italy need to beat Germany and hope Denmark can find a way to defeat the Czech Republic, and whilst it isn’t impossible, it appears to be pretty unlikely.
If they’d like to qualify as the best runners-up, they need to beat Germany by three or more goals and, again, hope Czech Republic fall to defeat. Their qualification hopes rely heavily on what happens in the other game in Group C, but that won’t affect the job they have to do.
Die Mannschaft look in a far more comfortable position after the first two games. With two wins and five goals, all they need is a point to guarantee top spot in the group. If they do lose to Italy, they will go through to the semi-finals as the best second-placed side, as long as Czech Republic lose to Denmark.
Germany boss Stefan Kuntz has stated that “Italy are the favourites” ahead of this game, but I’m under no illusion that he will be playing for the draw.
They’ve dispatched of the other two sides in the group with ease, whilst playing free-flowing attacking football in the process, and I think we will see more of the same in the game against the Italians in Tychy on Saturday evening.
Serge Gnabry put in another superb performance against Denmark, and he will have to be on the top of his game again if Germany are to secure their place in the semi-finals. He’s been one of the players of the tournament so far, something that might leave Arsenal fans thinking: “What if?”
The betting angle
This game could be an absolute goal fest, especially if Italy can grab the first goal. It would leave Germany chasing the game, and will open the tie up massively.
And even if the Germans can grab the first goal, Italy will be confident they can still comeback. In their last 20 matches, they’ve scored an average of 2.00 goals per-game.
The bookies are also expecting goals in both games in the group, leaving us with very little value. But I think I’ve found a good price in the Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score market in this match – it’s 10/11 with Coral.
I’m confident the bet will land and that we’ll be treated to a cracker in Poland.
Italy U21 v Germany U21 – Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score (10/11 Coral)