Despite their five-goal hammering by a star-studded Spain team, Al Hain-Cole expects Blagoja Milevski’s men to frustrate the Young Eagles in Bydgoszcz
Having come away with nothing from their opening games, Serbia and Macedonia will both be desperate for victory when they come face-to-face in Tuesday’s European Under-21 Championship clash.
Beaten 2-0 by Portugal in their first game, the Young Eagles are 4/7 (1.57) favourites with Betfair Sportsbook to keep their chances of progression alive by coming out on top at the Zdzislaw Krzyszkowiak Stadium.
Meanwhile, Blagoja Milevski’s team were thrashed 5-0 by Spain in their major tournament debut, but are on offer at 11/2 (6.50) to bounce back with a shock win over their larger Balkan neighbours.
A draw would most likely leave both sides staring elimination in the face, but you can get odds of 16/5 (4.20) on them cancelling each other out in this one.
While there is no shame in losing to a star-studded Spanish team boasting a number of players from La Liga’s biggest teams, the Red Lions will still have been slightly surprised to suffer such a thrashing.
Bringing an end to a run of five consecutive clean sheets, that match was also just the second occasion in 17 fixtures that the usually stubborn outfit conceded more than a single goal.
Indeed, such was the underdogs’ defensive solidity in qualification that they made it to Poland despite scoring just 13 goals in 10 matches – a tally matched or beaten by no fewer than 17 teams that failed to qualify.
Having conceded just seven times in those 10 games and beaten France to top spot in their group, Milevski’s men will certainly back themselves to frustrate an opposition attack with only three goals to their name in five matches.
With this in mind, even odds (2.00) seem generous on a resolute Macedonian side ensuring under 2.5 goals are scored for their 10th game in 11, and fifth in six for Serbia.