The European U21 Championship gets underway today with Spain’s betting odds making them favourites to win the tournament for the first time since 1998.
Their senior team might already be reigning world and European champions but the Spanish have clearly placed a great deal of importance on ensuring they extend their dominance to the U21 category.
As such, while England are without several leading players, the Spanish can boast the likes of Juan Mata and Javi Martinez in their ranks.
Both members of Spain’s victorious World Cup squad, the duo are joined in the U21 set-up by stars such as Barcelona’s Bojan Krkic and Manchester United-bound David de Gea.
With this in mind, it is not hard to see why Spain are 3/2 to win the trophy, 11/10 to reach the final and 7/20 to win their group, which includes England, Ukraine and Czech Republic.
A successful £25 punt on Spain to win the European U21 Championship would return £37.50, with a £25 free bet available to new customers when they sign up to bwin.
England might be without star man Jack Wilshere and a number of other notable absentees, but they are still second-favourites for the tournament with bwin.
However, at 6/1, Czech Republic could still prove to be Spain’s main rivals for the title.
First seeds in the group, they had the most impressive qualification record of all the teams who made it to the finals, with Tomas Pekhart making a significant contribution.
The new Nuremberg striker scored nine goals – the most of any player – to help his team qualify.
Lazio’s Libor Kozak will partner Pekhart in an impressive-looking front line which could help to make Czech Republic good bets to reach the final at 15/4.
An outside hope for the title would be host nation Denmark, who are 9/1 shots with bwin.
Like Spain, they have brought along established European stars and have included highly-rated Ajax playmaker Christian Eriksen in their U21 squad for the first time.
Eriksen terrorised England’s senior team in a recent friendly so is well placed to shine against less experienced opposition.
New customers can register here to claim a £25 free bet.