Published: 10:43 11/06/2011
The 2011 Under-21s European Championships are set to get under way today, with online bookmaker StanJames backing hosts Denmark U21 at 7/5 to pick up a win in their opening tie against Switzerland U21. Denmark have also seen their position as hosts carry them to StanJames' favourites to win Group A at 11/5, though bookmakers feel that all four nations are in with a shout.
Online bookmakers offer free bets and offers as part of their introductory offers which may be used to bet on football, including the Under 21 European Championships.
One of the few downsides of being named as hosts is the lack of competitive fixtures afforded by not having to qualify. The young Danes were beaten comprehensively at home by England earlier this year and only ended a bad run of results by beating Turkey by the same scoreline, 4-0, Monday night.
However, the Danes will be representing their country well with a talented selection of young Danes to call upon including Ajax's Christian Erikson, who impressed at the World Cup in South Africa as its youngest player and also grabbed his first senior goal for Denmark against Iceland last weekend. However, Erikson's rapid progress means this tournament marks his first involvement with the U21s.
Denmarks opponents tonight, Switzerland, will have a lot to say to being made second to Denmark to win group A at 5/2, offered at Irish Bookmakers Paddy Power. The Swiss are arguably the most exciting group of talents in Europe at the moment and hold the youngest squad on average age at the tournament. Nine of the U21s have already represented the senior Switzerland side, with three players - midfielder Granit Xhaka and forwards Innocent Emeghara and Admir Mehmeid - recently making their debuts against England at Wembley.
The two sides will face off tonight at 19.45pm in the tie which looks set to decide the eventual winner of Group A.
Belarus and Iceland will open the 2011 U21 European Championships with a slightly earlier kick-off of 17.00pm and StanJames back Iceland to pick up the first win of the tournament at best price of 13/10. There may be good reason to take up this bet as Icelandic football is set to see a golden generation emerging from the island nation with a little over 300,000 population.
Iceland have a strong focus on firepower, and with star player Gylfi Sigurdsson leading the charge, its not hard to see why. The former Reading man was sold for £7 million last summer to Hoffenheim and scored two oustanding goals in Icelands play-off tie second leg at Scotland.
Online bookmaker, BetFred, are offering a Double Delight / Hat Trick Heaven special offer for the U21 European Championship Group A Match - Denmark v Switzerland. If your chosen player scores the first goal of the match and then goes on to score again, Betfred will double or treble your first goalscorer price.