The top two in Euro U-21 Group F face off on Thursday night (19:45), as England take on Serbia at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground. We’ve taken a look at the fixture and given you our prediction of how it will play out.
The defending champions, England sit top of Group F, after an opening 3-0 victory, away to Luxembourg, back in September. Next up is a tough-looking tie against Serbia, who also won their opening fixture against Azerbaijan
Lee Carsley’s side are looking to go back-to-back in successive Euro’s and victory here against the Serbians would give them a huge leg up in the group standings. With a game against the other unbeaten side, Ukraine, on Monday yet to come, six points here could virtually seal their qualification at a very early stage.
For Serbia, one gets the feeling that Dušan Đorđević would be more than happy with a point on their travels, in Nottingham on Thursday night.
The Betfred traders have priced the home side at 3/10, giving them a 77% implied probability of beating Serbia (15/2), who are given just over 10% chance of victory. The draw is available at 7/2.
Goals look to be on the menu with over 2.5 goals as short as 4/6 and both teams to score is priced at EVS.
Obviously given the cyclical nature of the youth sides, several players who won the title in summer are no longer eligible to play for the side anymore. However, seven of the winning squad remain (Captain Taylor Harwood-Bellis, goalkeeper James Trafford, Jarrad Branthwaite, Charlie Cresswell, Harvey Elliott, Cole Palmer and Noni Madueke) and are joined by an exciting new group of players, who themselves won the U19 European Championships in 2022.
England (from) :
Goalkeepers: James Beadle (Oxford United, loan from Brighton and Hove Albion), Matthew Cox (Bristol Rovers, loan from Brentford), James Trafford (Burnley)
Defenders: Jarrad Branthwaite (Everton), Charlie Cresswell (Leeds United), Taylor Harwood-Bellis (Southampton, loan from Manchester City), Bashir Humphreys (Swansea City, loan from Chelsea), Rico Lewis (Manchester City), Tino Livramento (Newcastle United), Brooke Norton-Cuffy (Millwall, loan from Arsenal), Jarell Quansah (Liverpool)
Midfielders: Harvey Elliott (Liverpool), Hayden Hackney (Middlesbrough), James McAtee (Sheffield United, loan from Manchester City), Charlie Patino (Swansea City, loan from Arsenal), Aaron Ramsey (Burnley)
Forwards: Jamie Bynoe-Gittens (Borussia Dortmund), Liam Delap (Hull City, loan from Manchester City), Sam Iling-Junior (Juventus), Noni Madueke (Chelsea), Cole Palmer (Chelsea), Jaden Philogene (Hull City), Jonathan Rowe (Norwich City)
Serbia (from) :
Goalkeepers: Veljko Ilić, Andrija Katić, Filip Stankovic
Defenders: Viktor Rogan, Mihajlo Ilić, Uroš Lazić, Nemanja Đeković, David Petrović, Mateja Đorđević, Luka Subotić
Midfielders: Aleksa Matić, Miloš Pantović, Jovan Lukić, Stefan Mitrović, Igor Miladinović, Vladimir Lučić, Matija Mitrović, Uroš Kabić, Nikola Jojić, Aljosa Vasic, Nikola Stanković, Mitar Ergelaš
Forwards: Marko Lazetić, Milos Lukovic
England to win to nil – 21/20
Lee Carsley’s side have won their last seven games in all competitions, scoring 14 goals in the process and conceding none.
Yes, they have kept seven clean sheets on the spin and haven’t lost a game since a friendly against Japan’s U22s in June.
I can’t see Serbia troubling them here and firmly expect England to win again to nil.
England to win 3-0 – 7/1
Looking back in more depth at England’s results over the past year or so, most of the wins are by a 2 or 3 goal margin.
It’s fairly rare that England really put a team to the sword and I think that could be the case here. Carsley’s side won 3-0 last time out and did that again in the Euro semi-final.
In total, England have won by a 3-0 scoreline on four occasions dating back to March 2022 and I like it’s chances at 7/1 here.