Portugal to make winning start
Portugal to make winning start

Portugal should be able to get their 2017 Under-21 European Championship off to a perfect start against Serbia on Saturday.
Portugal enjoyed a fantastic qualifying campaign, finishing top of Group 4 after racking up eight victories and two draws from their 10 matches, scoring 34 goals and conceding just five along the way.

Esperancas had the fourth-best defensive record in qualifying - behind only England (3), Italy (3), Israel (4) and Denmark (3) - and the impressive displays at the back will need to continue if they are going to win the tournament.

Centre-back Ruben Semedo, who was linked with a switch to the Premier League before moving to Villarreal recently, is expected to play a big part while Tobias Figueiredo, who is the most-capped defender in the squad with 14 appearances, will also be crucial.

Portugal are blessed with talent in midfield, most notably in the shape of Bayern Munich's Renato Sanches, who has been capped 12 times for the senior side and was part of the successful Euro 2016 campaign in France.

Rio Ave's Goncalo Paciencia, RB Leipzig's Bruma and Braga's Ricardo Horta will all be vying for a starting place up-front and the trio have scored 12 goals combined for the Under-21's.

Rui Jorge's men scored three or more goals in seven of their qualifying matches and backing more than 2.5 goals in the clash against Serbia at n/a looks good value.

However, The Young Eagles, who beat Norway in a play-off to reach the main stage, still have the potential to cause an upset and their hopes will rest largely on the shoulders of Partizan's Uros Durdevic.

The 23-year-old striker has scored 15 goals from 26 caps and he was the second-highest scorer in qualifying with nine strikes, while he found the back of the net 24 times from 29 league appearances last season.

Serbia were the highest-scorers in Group 2, with 27 goals, and they could spring a surprise in their opening match, making their price to win at n/a a decent option.

Head coach Nenad Lalatovic has also opted for experience at the back with Milan Gajic (16), Nemanja Antonov (12), Milos Veljkovic (11) and Vukasin Jovanovic (10) all having played at least 10 times for the Under-21's.

Portugal finished runner-up in the 2015 edition of the tournament while the Serbians ended up bottom of Group A that year, taking just one point from their three matches.

Recommended Bet: More than 2.5 goals n/a

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