Bookies.com show you why impressive Portugal can beat semi-final foes Germany and go on to take the 2015 UEFA Under-21 European Championship crown.
England may have bowed out of the 2015 UEFA Under-21 European Championship in the group stage, but four nations are still in with a shout of winning this tournament.
Germany, who seem to have a never-ending conveyor-belt of young talent, are favourites, but Bookies.com experts urge you to take a punt on Portugal at a tasty top-price of 3/1 with Betway.
These two nations meet one another in the semis, while Scandinavian rivals Sweden and Denmark also do battle. If Portugal can navigate their way past the Germans, then another victory would be expected thereafter whoever faces them in the final.
Not convinced? Read on as we reveal five reasons why Portugal can be real predators at the business end of this UEFA Under-21 tournament.
Case for the defence
Nicknamed the Navigators, Portugal have steered themselves through the group stage with the best defensive record of just one goal conceded and two clean sheets out of three. In doing so, the likes of Valencia right back Joao Cancelo and Liverpool-owned centre half Tiago Ilori have kept some highly-rated names out, including Domenico Berardi, John Guidetti, Harry Kane.
Eight of the Portuguese squad sent to the UEFA Under-21s have received senior international caps. It may shock punters to learn Germany’s roster contains just six who have played for their country at the highest level so far. Our next reason is among those nifty Navigators regularly called upon by national coach Fernando Santos…
Europe’s elite are coveting the capture of Sporting Lisbon star Carvalho. Seeing the anchorman drop down to represent Portugal’s Under-21s shows a maturity beyond his tender years in similar fashion to England striker Kane. A guileful Germany will have a hard time wrestling control of midfield from Carvalho!
Chip off the old block
Punters may recall Braga’s brilliant run to the 2011 Europa League final under former Portuguese Footballer of the Year and Golden Ball winner Domingos Paciencia. His son Goncalo is also a striker, coming through the ranks at Porto, and leads the Portugal Under-21 attack.
On the cusp of breaking into the Dragons’ first-team set-up, Paciencia junior is the Navigators’ best kept secret, and has already scored at the UEFA Under-21 tournament.
Portugal’s most potent weapons are in wide areas, though, and their strength in depth on the flanks is frightening. Benfica’s Ivan Cavaleiro spent the season on loan at Deportivo La Coruna, while Ricardo Horta was also a La Liga regular with Malaga.
Bernardo Silva made a permanent move to Monaco midway through the campaign, having done enough to impress compatriot coach Leonardo Jardim by the winter window. Finally, there’s a fourth full Portugal international on the roster in Braga boy Rafa Silva.
When you consider these considerable talents, plus Carvalho and Sporting Lisbon’s Joao Mario in midfield, the Navigators look fabulous at 3/1 to be UEFA Under-21 champions. Take that brilliant bet with Betway now before the 3/1 price goes!
All odds were correct at time of posting.