Betting preview: UEFA Under-21 Championship Group B, Germany v England & Finland v Spain

Germany v England & Finland v Spain, June 22, 2009

We go into the final round of games in Group B with England already qualified for the semi-finals and Germany looking like strong favourites to secure a berth in the final four.

The Young Lions have put in two differing displays against Finland and Spain but have come away with six points and are the only team in the tournament to have a 100% record.

Stuart Pearce has a difficult balancing act for this match as if Germany win they will leapfrog England who will then face a harder tie in the semi-finals (probably against likely Group A winners Italy).

There are injury doubts over Gabriel Agbonlahor and Kieran Gibbs, who has been hugely impressive. Pearce boldly introduced Theo Walcott as a substitute against Spain and could well start the Arsenal winger on the bench again, giving the lone striker’s role to Frazier Campbell who opened the scoring on Thursday night. James Milner who has been one of England’s best performers is suspended. (Frazier Campbell is 8/1 to score the first goal.)

Germany have also been impressive in this tournament and will fancy their chances of picking up the point they need to progress. They had the better of the 0-0 draw with Spain and following their 2-0 defeat of Finland have still to let in a goal.

Schalke keeper Manuel Neuer (pictured) looks like a class act and Werder Bremen playmaker Mesut Ozil (9/4 to score) has added to his burgeoning reputation whilst Marko Marin and Ashkan Dejagah could also be a threat to England. Defender Benedikt Howedes (25/1 to claim the first goal) could also trouble the England defence from set-pieces if his towering header against Finland is anything to go by.

Looking at the second game, it will be hard for Spain psychologically more than anything else as progression is out of their hands. The Spanish have been one of the disappointments of the tournament, struggling for any attacking flow with the likes of Jurado, Javi Martinez and Bojan Krkic (25/1 to score a hat-trick) failing to live up to their pre-tournament hype.

Coach Juan Ramon Lopez Caro has changed his formation in both games so far and now may be the time to start Diego Capel in order to get in behind the Finland defence. Spain will surely score their first goal of the tournament but need goals and a helping hand from England.

Finland have been competitive and despite their elimination will be satisfied that they have not been on the receiving end of a big defeat like fellow minnows Belarus. Tim Sparv, Perparim Hetemaj and Berat Sadik (12/1 to score first goal) have all been impressive and the watching scouts will have taken note.

101gg predicts: Germany 2 – England 2 (16/1) & Finland 0 – Spain 3 (7/1)

Full match odds on Germany-England here.

Full match odds on Finland-Spain here.