Spain lifted the European Under-21 Championship trophy in 2011 and 2013 and are fancied to come out on top again this summer after taking a classy squad to Poland.
Highly-rated midfielder Marco Asensio will attract plenty of attention after coming off the bench to score Real Madrid’s fourth goal in their Champions League final win over Juventus.
Asensio was voted player of the tournament at the Under-19s European Championship two years ago and looks destined for big things at the Bernabeu.
Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez is another proven performer at elite level, scoring against Bayer Leverkusen, Leicester and Real in the knockout rounds of last season’s European Cup.
Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin, Everton winger Gerard Deulofeu, Athletic Bilbao striker Inaki Williams and Real Sociedad’s Mikel Oyarzabal are other full internationals in the travelling party.
Spain weren’t the most impressive team in qualifying but clearly mean business now they are there and stand out at 7/2 in the U21 Euro winner odds.
Group A teams with outright odds
England 10/1, Poland 12/1, Sweden 14/1, Slovakia 33/1
Group B teams with outright odds
Spain 7/2, Portugal 6/1, Serbia 11/1, Macedonia 40/1
Group C teams with outright odds
Germany 13/4, Italy 11/2, Denmark 22/1, Czech Republic 25/1
Portugal will look to Renato Sanches to spearhead their challenge after he was voted young player of the tournament during the senior side’s Euro 2016 triumph.
A move from Benfica to Bayern Munich has produced mixed results so far, but the 19-year-old is clearly a prodigious talent.
Germany are deservedly among the favourites, having scored more goals than any other team in qualifying, netting 35 times to top their pool by eight points ahead of Austria.
At the other end of the pitch, Italy kept seven clean sheets and conceded just three goals in 10 matches and have Sassuolo winger Domenico Berardi, who has already bagged 43 Serie A strikes.
England have suffered early exits at the last three renewals of this competition but are favourites to top Group A ahead of hosts Poland, holders Sweden and rookies Slovakia.
Marcus Rashford is not available, but Southampton duo Nathan Redmond and James Ward-Prowse could shine and defender Nathaniel Chalobah featured 10 times in Chelsea’s Premier League triumph.
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