England face off against Portugal in a humdinger of a start to the European Under-21 Championships Group B that pits the tournament’s second and third favourites against one another.
Only Germany, held 1-1 by Serbia in their own opener, are a shorter price to win the competition than Gareth Southgate’s 4/1 shots, while the Portuguese are 5/1.
England won the sides’ most recent encounter, a friendly on home turf, 3-1 and they’re narrow 8/5 favourites to down the Esperancas in Uherske Hradiste.
Portugal are 9/5 for victory, while the draw is a 23/10 bet in game guaranteed to have an element of caginess to it due to neither side wanting to cede too much ground to the other in the race for qualification for the knockout stages.
Below are news.bwin.com’s three best bets on the fixture…
The match to be decided by a single goal @ 5/4
All bar two of the Young Lions’ last ten matches across all competitions have seen the destination of the spoils decided by the slenderest of margins.
Their last competitive meeting with Portugal, at last year’s Toulon tournament, followed suit, with Rui Jorge’s side the victors on that occasion.
Harry Kane to score @ 7/5
England have an embarrassment of riches up front with Kane, Saido Berahino and Danny Ings, all starting Premier League games with regularity last term.
Southgate is likely to pick only two and the Lilywhite must be the closest thing to a guaranteed starter, especially with reported fitness fears over the second-named.
Kane played 20 minutes more league football than Neymar last term, scoring just one goal less, despite featuring in a lesser team and should have no trouble netting.
Over 2.5 goals @ 21/20
Portugal have been involved in a brace of high-scoring encounters inside their last three outings, losing 3-1 in England before besting the Netherlands 5-4.
A tendency to get involved in a slugfest also reared it’s head in a 4-3 qualifying win in Israel, a tendency Southgate’s young men seem to share.
The Young Lions have rewarded overs backers in six of their last eight matches including recent clashes with quality opposition such as France and Germany.