Only one point required for Stuart Pearce's UEFA group toppers
Stuart Pearce insists his England Under-21 team will not take their foot off the gas as they prepare for their final Group B match against Germany on Monday.
Having already confirmed their place in the semi-final stage of the tournament with the 2-0 victory over Spain, Monday's final UEFA Under 21 Group stage match is not to be thought of as a dead-rubber, although resting key players may still be an option for boss Stuart Pearce.
"Firstly, England against Germany is a massive match and we are going to attempt to win. Every time those two countries play there is a lot on it." commented the England boss,
"You get judged on whether you win, lose or draw when you wear your international jersey."
England will be without scorer James Milner who is suspended for the Germany match as tournament star Theo Walcott, priced at odds of 10/3 to score at any point in the 90 minutes -is expected to be brought on from the bench.
Frazier Campbell, first goal-scorer in the victory over the Spaniards is 7/1 to achieve the same feat on Monday, with earlier tournament scorers Lee Cattermole 20/1 and Micah Richards 25/1 in the same market.
The young England side now require only one point from their one remaining Group B clash against the Germans to complete the group stages in pole position and are the favourites to do so in the 'Group B betting' at odds of 4/11.
A single point on Monday night would mean Pearce's side go on to play the runners up of Group A - more than likely to be competition hosts Sweden who, after losing 2-1 to leaders Italy, find themselves in second place in Group A.
A Monday night draw against England, priced up at a favourable 11/10 would be enough to see the German U21 side qualify, with the Italians looking the likely semi-final draw.
If this was to be the case, and Italy were beaten by the German side in their semi-final, the Monday night clash could prove the perfect indicator to the UEFA Under 21 final on June 26th.
England are the current favourites in the outright betting to win the UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship at odds of 15/8, followed by Italy at 12/5.
Germany can be backed with William Hill Online to lift the UEFA trophy at a whopping 7/2, ahead of tournament hosts Sweden at 11/2 in the betting.
Although the Group stage draw was originally perceived as tough for Pearce's side, England have had little trouble thus far and now look a force to be reckoned with as the final in Sweden gets ever-closer.
The semi-finals of the UEFA Under-21 Championship will take place on 26 June 2009.
The UEFA Under-21 Championship final will be held on 29 June 2009.