Free tips European U21 Championships: England v Poland (Thursday, 7.45pm)
Tournament hosts Poland must defeat group leaders England if they are to avoid elimination at the group stage of the European Under 21 Championships. We take you through our match preview and betting tips for the final Group A fixture at the Kolporter Arena in Kielce.
These two sides have only ever met on two occasions previously – both coming in qualification for the 2006 European Championships.
England won the home tie 4-1 to follow up on a 3-1 victory on the road.
At senior level, the Three Lions have only ever suffered one defeat in 18 competitive fixtures against Poland.
Nathan Redmond (10) is only three goals shy of Alan Shearer’s all-time goalscoring record for England Under 21s.
England have their destiny in their own hands – beat Poland on Thursday and they are into the last four, while the hosts need a victory to avoid an early elimination.
Norwich forward Jacob Murphy replaced the off-form full-back Mason Holgate at half time for England against Slovakia to herald their change in fortunes, but whether they will continue to employ Murphy alongside Tammy Abraham and Nathan Redmond up front remains to be seen.
Poland are likely to retain their 4-2-3-1 formation with a fully fit squad and no suspensions, although forward Patryk Lipski – who netted in the opening game before being benched – may return to the fold to give support to Mariusz Stepinski.
Draw 14/5 – MarathonBet
Nathan Redmond Anytime Goalscorer 23/10 –bet365
Reason for bets
This is an incredible tight group between all four sides – England have the highest co-efficient, Sweden are tournament holders, Poland have home advantage with a passionate crowd and Slovakia have impressed in both outings.
There is little doubt that Aidy Boothroyd’s side have more quality in their side than the Poles – although it is important not to overstate this – but home advantage is often crucial in these games, especially as a vociferous home crowd can often damage younger players the most.
A draw is the most likely outcome and is attractively priced – this England side have produced only one strong half of football so far in this tournament (the second 45 minutes against Slovakia) while Poland have failed to impress and are in their last chance saloon.
England’s main goal threat is Southampton’s Redmond who’s strike, albeit via a deflection, was enough to secure a crucial win over the Slovaks and put them in a strong position in the group.
With 36 caps he is vastly experienced at this level and has ten goals to his name, and odds of 23/10 for him adding to this against a Poland side who have conceded twice in each game is tempting.
England v Poland Under 21 match prediction
Draw 14/5 – MarathonBet
Specific bet prediction
Nathan Redmond Anytime Goalscorer 23/10 – bet365