Sometimes it’s not the performance that counts so much as the result, especially in the opening game of a tournament. For England, it was mission accomplished against Spain on Sunday after the Young Lions landed a 1-1 draw thanks to a late goal from Danny Welbeck.
Stuart Pearce’s main concern was that his team were unable to retain possession against a gifted Spanish side, although they should have more joy on Wednesday night and William Hill offer a best price 17/20 that the England Under-21 claim three valuable points.
Considering that the Czech Republic look like making things difficult in the final Group A game, you feel this is a game that England must win and Pearce is likely to continue with the three-pronged attack with Welbeck available at 13/2 (Hill’s) to score the first goal.
Daniel Sturridge will play in the central striking role and the Chelsea forward is on offer at 9/2 (Ladbrokes) while Connor Wickham can be backed at 8/1 with Paddy Power.
However, it is in defence where the Young Lions are really strong thanks to the central defensive pairing and we might expect Phil Jones and Chris Smalling to help their team to a clean sheet against a toothless Ukraine side. England are 7/5 (Paddy Power) for a shut-out and the same firm have 2/1 that they win to nil.
Some will instead argue that England were unconvincing in their opening match and that 7/2 (bet365) is too big about their opponents.