Spain to neutralise the Swiss!
The U21 tournament comes to a climatic finish in the Aarhus Stadion, Aarhus this Saturday. After a disastrous last few minutes against the Czech's England are already at home with their feet up and can watch Spain attempt to secure a hattrick of titles at this level after wins in 1986 and 1998.
The Spanish have progressed to the final with 3 wins and the 1-1 draw against England. They have not had it all their own way as it took an 89th minute equalizer by Adrián López and extra time to make it through the semi-final against Belarus. They deserve to be in the final on the balance of that match as they dominated in their true passing style having a huge 73% possession
Adrián López seems set to claim the tournament golden boot after his semi-final heroics put him of five goals - two clear of the nearest challenger in Mehmedi of opponents Switzerland.
Spain have looked good during the tournament and have clearly been learning from their full international counterparts with plenty of crisp passing and movement, They should be able to pull the strings enough to open up a resolute Swiss defence and cause them plenty of problems.
The Swiss have advanced to the final with 4 wins out of 4 although they too needed extra time to come through a tricky semi-final against the Czech Republic. Switzerland is bidding to be the first ever team to win the tournament without conceding a goal as they have been perfect at the back with four clean sheets.
Switzerland have been boosted by having Xhaka available to them again after he served his ban in the semi final after picking up 2 yellow cards and also Lustenberger and Klose are fit to play after picking up dead legs in the semi.
You can expect the final to follow the same pattern as all of Spain's previous matches in the tournament with the Spanish dominating possession and moving the ball around. The Swiss will have to attack quickly when they manage to get a foot on the ball. It will be interesting to see if the defence can hold firm against a relentless Spanish attack they have been fantastic so far but this is a different prospect entirely and I expect them to have late heartache and be defeated 1-0. The Spanish also have experience on their side as Javi Martínez and Juan Mata were part of the winning world cup side however they were both unused substitutes. The Spanish should run out winners by an odd goal if all goes to form but I wouldn't be surprised if it took until extra time for that goal to come.
Top tips for the match:
Spain to win in Extra Time @ 6/1: I expect the match to last longer than just the 90, the same as both semis, and Spain will be able to exploit some tired Swiss defending
Juan Mata First Goal @ 9/2: The Valencia winger is an outstanding talent and is the most likely to breach the Swiss defence
Under 0.5 First Half Goals @ 13/8: Goals will be at a premium and I expect the game to be a tight affair - especially in the early stages