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Spain u-21 v Norway u-21: Champs on for clean sheet win

| 15.06.2013

After cruising through their group, Spain’s under-21 team find themselves 180 minutes away from retaining their status as champions of Europe.

To move a step closer to achieving this goal, they must overcome the Norway side that made Stuart Pearce’s Young Lions look like a litter of kittens. As far as the bookmakers – and possibly everyone else in the universe – are concerned, they should have no dramas when attempting to do this, priced up as 4/11 favourites.

Having mastered an incredibly difficult group with consummate ease – scoring five goals and conceding none – it’s easy to see why.

Add the fact that Espana have triumphed in all three of their competitive meetings with the Scandinavians and are currently on an undefeated stretch that’s 24 games long, including 22 wins, Norway’s 8/1 starts to demean in stature.

Alvaro Morata’s opener in his country’s 3-0 canter against Holland to set up this clash moved him clear in the race to be the tournament’s top scorer. Having netted in each of his three outings, it’s no surprise to see him installed as favourite to be the first goalscorer at 7/2, however, to see Rodrigo share this mantle with him warrants an eyebrow raise.

His fellow strike partner found himself benched for the final group game and, with Morata proving to be the frontline forward in the junior Spanish outfit, backing Rodrigo to break the deadlock is money wasted.

A shrewd investment, on the other hand, is the 5/4-rated Spanish win to nil. As stated, the heavy-favourites haven’t conceded a solitary goal in Israel and just one in their three clashes with the Norwegians.

An odds-against price for such an outcome seems unexpectedly good value and has to be taken advantage of.

The reason, perhaps, could be the fact that Norway have scored in all of their games in the tournament thus far, running up an average of two goals per outing. They’ve not managed a shut out yet though, which might breathe some appeal into 20/21 that says both teams will bag in Netanya.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date



James Middleton