Spain’s Rodrigo a fine bet as favourite for U21 top scorer accolade

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Holland may have no fewer than 12 full internationals in their squad, while Italy hold the record of five previous tournament successes, but opposing tournament favourites Spain to win the European U21 Championships for a second successive renewal looks foolhardy.

Spain are 7/4 to win the eight-team finals, despite being having to qualify for the semi finals from the tougher of the two groups alongside Germany and Holland.

The Spaniards are the defending champions from 2011 and have a squad that are highly experienced at playing together from a young age, which in a way makes them more like a club side than an international one in terms of their experience.

Meanwhile, there is certainly no shortage of attacking talent in their squad, especially in midfield where they can call upon the likes of Thiago Alcantara, Cristian Tello and Malaga’s chief creator Isco.

Then in attack, they have a proven goalscorer to finish off their fluid attacking moves in Rodrigo, who was responsible for 11 goals in just nine appearances in the qualifiers for these finals in Israel.

Rodrigo is 7/1 to be the European U21 Championships top scorer.

Furthermore, in the last five instalments of these finals, the top scorer has come from the tournament winners on four occasions, which potentially increases the likelihood of a Spaniard walking off with the accolade.

The alternate option to the Benfica striker in the Spanish ranks is Barcelona’s Tello, who is 14/1.

Combining a Spain success with Rodrigo being the top scorer could additionally prove a viable way to enhance profits and is available at 14/1, with the same bet involving Tello priced at 22/1.

Germany scored more goals than any other club in qualifying to reach this tournament, so have to be respected for their goal threat, even if they played more games than some other qualifiers and had San Marino in their group.

Penial Mlapa was their top scorer and is 20/1 to top the tournament scoring ranks here, which is worth considering given that Lewis Holtby is the same price and is likely to operate in more of a midfield role.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.