The action resumes in Group B between the two losing teams from the opening fixtures clashing in a must-win game as Serbia, who were defeated 2-0 by Portugal, take on their neighbours Macedonia, who will be bristling after suffering a 5-0 thumping at the hands of Spain in their opening fixture.
Then in the second game of the night the two Iberian peninsula giants will lock horns for the first time since 2001 at U21 level with the winner seemingly set to earn a place in the semi finals, with the loser likely only able to qualify as the best runner up and that could well be a lottery given how tight the other groups are.
Here are my football betting tips and predictions for these two big games on Tuesday night (June 20th):
Euro U21 Football Betting Tips: Tuesday 20th June
June 20, 2017
June 20, 2017
Having lost their opening games, Serbia & Macedonia know that only victory in this game will give them any chance of progressing.
Serbia and Macedonia have met four times previously at U21 level, Serbia winning three and there has been one draw. Serbia start favourites here.
Serbia have four players already on yellow cards; Antonov, Gacinovic, Grujic and Gajic. Another booking here will see them miss the final group game.
Macedonia U21’s biggest ever defeat at U21 level was vs Yugoslavia, they lost 8-0 back in 1999, when Mateja Kezman, ex-Chelsea, scored a hat-trick.
This game is now effectively an eliminator in Group B, the loser of which will definitely be heading home while the winner may well live on to fight another day, albeit with a very tough final game against either Spain or Portugal’s youngsters to look forward to.
Historically, Serbia (and by that we are also broadly including Yugoslavia) have been much the stronger of the two teams and have recorded some big wins against their opponents, however, since that last 5-1 thumping in 2012, Macedonia have certainly improved as a nation.
This will be a close run thing and perhaps a lot tighter than many experts are predicting. Serbia do have an excellent pedigree at U21 level though and I think the fact their squad has more experience at a higher level in Europe, plus are generally better quality players will mean that they should pick up the points here.
These two U21 teams have met 3 times, Portugal have won 2, Spain 1. Portugal have also scored 4 goals to Spain’s 2.
However, the Iberian peninsula neighbours have not met each other at U21 level in over 16 years.
Portugal have never won the Euro U21 Championships, but they finished runners up in 2015. Spain have won the title on four occasions.
Both sides head into this game having not conceded a goal and on the back of an excellent win, Portugal vs Serbia 2-0 and Spain 5-0 vs Macedonia.
The first two games in Group B went very much as expected with Portugal U21’s coming out on top against a somewhat disappointing Serbia U21 side, while Spain U21’s proved way too strong for Macedonia U21’s, romping to a thumping 5-0 win with Real Madrid ace Marco Asensio grabbing an outstanding hat-trick.
The Madrid winger scored in the Champions League final just a few weeks ago and has carried on his excellent club form for the Spanish U21’s in Poland and he will no doubt be a key figure in what looks like being the game that will decide the eventual winner of Group B.
Neither team will want to lose this and risk missing out on the semi finals, but even so a draw will likely favour the Spanish more than Portugal here. However, given the quality of the Spanish squad and their performance in the opening game, I am backing them to get the better of their neighbours here, but it will be a much closer run thing this time.
The Cheeky Punter is an professional online sports bettor and trader with over 15 years of experience in the industry. He has worked for a number of top bookmakers including Ladbrokes, William Hill and Coral. He's also written for a number of leading news outlets including the Guardian, i (newspaper) and Soccer Lens. More about him here.