The European Under-21 Championship started on the weekend and we’re going to round up the favourites and some of the big names in the tournament!
This year’s competition is being held in Italy and San Marino over two weeks. 12 teams will compete for the championship, with the current champions being Germany. The teams who finish in the top four will then qualify for the 2020 Olympics football tournament.
Players who were born 1st January 1996 or later can play in the tournament. This year is the first time VAR has been used in the Under-21’s Euros. We’ll look at the three favourites for the tournament as well as some of the more notable players in the competition.
Italy – 11/4
The tournament hosts are also the current favourites. They won their first game against Spain and sit top of their group. No team has won the competition more than Italy. They have won it five times, the first being in 1992 and the most recent in 2004.
Italy has a few big names in their squad, one of them being Moise Kean. The striker broke into the team at the end of last season and scored some important goals. Federico Chiesa is another good player. The winger plays for Fiorentina and has already managed 100 appearances. He scored a fantastic goal in the opening game for Italy this year.
Germany – 7/2
Another team that has won its opening game is the current champions. Germany has only won the competition twice, the first time coming in 2009. They beat Denmark 3-1 and will look to push on and stay top of their group.
Jonathan Tah leads the German side and has already featured for the senior team. He is now an established centre-back in the Bundesliga with over 100 appearances for Bayer Leverkusen. Mahmoud Dahoud is an attacking midfielder they have. He is currently at Dortmund and has been tipped for a big future.
England – 4/1
Most peoples favourites at the start of the tournament were England. They have a very experienced squad, with most of them appearing in the Premier League before. Like Germany, they have won it twice but the last time was in 1984.
They have Arron Wan-Bissaka, James Maddison, Ryan Sessegnon, Phil Foden and Dominic Calvert-Lewin to name a few. These players have been tipped for big money moves and have already shown what they are capable of in the league. If England can play together they can definitely win this tournament.
France has Guendouzi and Dembele on their side. Guendouzi has had a brilliant debut season with Arsenal and looks like he could be making that central midfield position his own next year. Dembele is at Lyon after joining from Celtic last season and also had a good season. He scored 15 goals in 33 games and has been linked with a move away.
Luka Jovic is in the Serbian squad and has just joined Real Madrid for a fee of around €60 million. He signed permanently for Eintracht Frankfurt in April 2019 and then joined Real Madrid in June 2019.