England U21s preview
The UEFA Euro U21 championships is in full swing and England will be heading towards their second game against the Ukraine in a buoyant mood after Danny Welbeck's late equaliser against Spain.
Stuart Pearce made some bold moves before the match leaving out Everton's Jack Rodwell along with Bolton's Fabrice Muamba but the moves paid off and England left with a point. The game looked set to finish with a 1-0 victory to the Spanish until Welbeck coolly slotted home what was the second contentious goal of the match!
England now returns to the Herning Stadion and take on the Ukraine who will be desperate for a win after they lost their opening game against the Czech Republic. Things got even worse for the Ukraine on Monday night when their captain Taras Stepanenko of Shakhtar Donetsk was ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a recurrence of his thigh strain.
There may be an element of revenge in the air for some of the young lions as a number of these players met against each other 2 years ago in the U19's final where the Ukrainians ran out 2-0 winners.
On to the match and England should be running out comfortable winners but how many times have we said that before with England? The Spain game saw an England side unable to get much possession and time on the ball but against the ‘lesser' opponents of Ukraine they should be able to get time and space to show their true talents.
It will be interesting to see what team Stuart Pearce select, will he stick with the same 11 that started against Spain or bring in some of the surprise exclusions from last time. Whichever names end up appearing on the team sheet I think England will perform with the same determination as against the Spanish but with more attacking intent when in possession.
My best bets for the match would be:
England -1: I see England running out by 2 or 3 goals making this the choice bet.
Danny Welbeck first goal @ 13/2: He took his goals against the Spanish very well and should find himself pushed further forward against the Ukraine.
Maxym Bilyi anytime @ 6/1: Looked a useful player when he came on and scored the consolation goal against the Czech Republic and could cause England problems given the chance.
Whether you take the tips or not, best of luck and enjoy the game!