Goal brings you everything you need to know about this summer’s youth tournament in Italy
With all 12 teams having been confirmed for the tournament, this year’s European Under-21 Championship will get underway in Italy and San Marino as the sides search for continental glory.
Defending champions Germany are favourites for the competition and will be looking to clinch a third youth European Championship, while Italy will be seeking their first U-21 European title since 2004.
Goal takes a look the 2019 European U-21 Championship, how it works and key dates and fixture information.
What is the 2019 European Under-21 Championship?
This year’s European Under-21 Championship is the 22nd edition of the biennial youth football tournament organised by UEFA for the men’s U-21 national teams of Europe.
The finals will be hosted in an array of cities and venues across Italy and San Marino this summer, where a total of 12 teams will play to be crowned U-21 continental champions.
Players who are born on or after January 1, 1998 will be eligible to participate, and this tournament will serve as European qualifying for the Olympic football tournament.
The group winners and the best runner-up advance to the semi-finals and qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics.
The tournament will comprise of 12 teams competing in the group stage before progressing immediately to the semi-finals and finals.
The group phase is set to begin on June 16 with Poland taking on Spain and host nation Italy competing against Belgium, with the final to be held on June 30 at Stadio Friuli in Udine.
European Under-21 Championship Group A tables, fixtures & results
|Jun 16||Poland vs Belgium||5:30pm||Mapei Stadium, Reggio Emilia|
|Jun 16||DR Congo vs Uganda||8pm||Stadio Renato Dall’Ara, Bologna|
|Jun 19||Spain vs Belgium||5:30pm||Mapei Stadium, Reggio Emilia|
|Jun 19||Italy vs Poland||8pm||Stadio Renato Dall’Ara, Bologna|
|Jun 22||Belgium vs Italy||8pm||Mapei Stadium, Reggio Emilia|
|Jun 22||Spain vs Poland||8pm||Stadio Renato Dall’Ara, Bologna|
European Under-21 Championship Group B tables, fixtures & results
|Jun 17||Serbia vs Austria||5:30pm||Stadio Nereo Rocco, Trieste|
|Jun 17||Germany vs Denmark||8pm||Stadio Friuli, Udine|
|Jun 20||Denmark vs Austria||5:30pm||Stadio Friuli, Udine|
|Jun 20||Germany vs Serbia||8pm||Stadio Nereo Rocco, Trieste|
|Jun 23||Austria vs Germany||8pm||Stadio Friuli, Udine|
|Jun 23||Denmark vs Serbia||8pm||Stadio Nereo Rocco, Trieste|
European Under-21 Championship Group C tables, fixtures & results
|Jun 18||Romania vs Croatia||5:30pm||San Marino Stadium, Serravalle|
|Jun 18||England vs France||8pm||Stadio Dino Manuzzi, Cesena|
|Jun 21||England vs Romania||5:30pm||Stadio Dino Manuzzi, Cesena|
|Jun 21||France vs Croatia||8pm||San Marino Stadium, Serravalle|
|Jun 24||Croatia vs England||8pm||San Marino Stadium, Serravalle|
|Jun 24||France vs Romania||8pm||Stadio Dino Manuzzi, Cesena|
European Under-21 Championship favourites
Germany are 11/2 favourites according to bet 365 to defend their 2017 title and are the number one ranked U-21 team, having qualified for the finals with flying colours. The young German team finished first in Group 5 of their qualification group, 10 points ahead of second-placed Norway and a further 11 over Republic of Ireland and Israel. They won eight of their 10 qualifiers, losing just once, and recorded a memorable 6-1 victory over Azerbaijan.
England are backed at 7/2 odds to win the tournament following a similarly impressive qualifying phase that saw them finish first in their group, winning eight of their 10 games and drawing just twice. The Young Lions are unbeaten in the build-up to the tournament and will be keen to build from emphatic qualifying victories over the Netherlands, Ukraine, Scotland and Latvia.
The young France team are 4/1 odds to follow in the footsteps of their senior men’s team who became world champions in 2018, with forward Martin Terrier scoring seven goals in the qualification stages and the side winning nine out of 10 qualifiers, losing once.
Host nation Italy, who earned automatic qualification into the tournament, can be backed with odds of 11/2.
Previous European Under-21 Championship winners
Defending champions Germany are two-time winners of the competition, while hosts Italy have been victors a record five times, though they last won the tournament in 2004.
In 2017, Germany beat Spain 1-0 in the final with the solitary goal scored by Bayer Leverkusen right-back Mitchel Weiser in the final in Poland.
Marco Asensio was the second-highest goalscorer in the 2017 competition with three goals, followed by the likes of Max Meyer, Gerard Deulofeu, Tammy Abraham and Serge Gnabry on two goals apiece.
England won the competition in 1982 and 1984, with the Netherlands and Russia also having won the tournament twice.