2009 UEFA European Under-21 preview (Part 2)

by Dexy Longshot

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Here’s part 2 of the Under 21s preview from yesterday.


Coach Yuri Kurnenins

Some are saying this Belarus team will be the whipping boys of group A but they actually scored the same amount of points as the Serbs. Then in the play-offs they saw off a talented Turkish outfit so no one should under-estimate Yuri’s team. The last and only time they made the finals was in 2004 led by ex-gooner Alexander Hleb before being bombed out in the group stages. Maybe this time they will be better equipped, especially with the skill of Dmitri Komarovski & Sergei Kryvets.

Dexy’s Diamond

Sergei Kryvets

Belarus will be relying big time on the form of Sergei Kryvets. The BATE Borisov talisman played and scored against the might of Juventus in the Champs League and has been drawing a few admiring glances from scouts across Europe. He is the leagues leading scorer this season already with 9 in 10 games, most impressive as he has been playing in midfield.


Coach Slobodan Krymarevic

The White Eagles surprisingly got to the final two years ago & will fancy another dig this time after being paired in the easier group. They already have a psychological advantage over Belarus who they beat once in the qualifiers & I may have a small tickle on them reaching the final again. They have 5 full internationals in their hard-working set-up and serve up a fair bit of flair goal-wise.

Dexy’s Diamond

Gojko Kacar

They mullered Hungary 8-0 with Hertha Berlins brilliant Gojko Kacar giving Kaka a run for his Euros with a 5 goal haul, not bad for a defensive midfielder who can play as centre-half or even up front. Another to keep a mincer on is Filip Djordjevic. A big tings are being rabbited of the Nantes forward.


Coach Jörgen Lennartsson

The saucy Swedes will come into the tournament as an unknown quantity qualifying automatically as the host nation. They came close in 92 reaching the final against Italy but have never won. On the one hand, they will be fresh and have the chance to experiment with different players & formations. On the other, they haven’t been tested. In the last 10 friendlies they have a record of won four, drawn four, hardly the form of champions; but with Marcus Berg & Ola Toivonen just behind, they may rise to the occasion with a semi.

Dexy’s Diamond

Mattias Bjarsmyr

The Swedish captain is almost a veteran with 25 caps at this level and has experience with IFK Gothenburg picking up a Championship medal. The former Best Newcomer of the Year broke into the national team against Costa Rica earlier this year. Rangers have been keeping tabs on him.


Coach Pierluigi Casiraghi

With 5 Under 21 titles already under the belt, another 6th is on he cards for Italy. Joint favourites with Spain, I think ultimately, this lot are the ones to beat and are my tip (although I’d obviously want us to do the business). Unbeaten in qualifying, Inter’s young prodigy Mario Balotelli will be a massive threat leading the line. With class all over the park & strength in depth, as well as a kind draw, get your Lira on the Italian juniors.

Dexy’s Diamond

Sebastian Giovinco

Nicknamed Atom Ant after the vertically challenged cartoon character with jetpack trainers and a love of new romanticism and Dickensian fashion. The pint-sized midfield dynamo is being groomed for greatness at Juve. Just one of an awesome Azurri attack.

So of we go. As i say, I fancy Italy, to win, not on a looks level because I’m not that way inclined, although I’m sure they are very pretty boys if you like that sort of thing; I think the Spaniards may break if it comes to a tight game or extra time in the semis. I think Serbia will get to the semis too hopefully along with our boys. Who knows what is going to happen but If it has half the drama as that penalty shoot-out last time round, count me in. We must believe, go on England, we may just surprise a few people!!

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  • dexylongshot

    Judging by the results like last, i didn’t see anything special. I wonder how italy will get on later, I still reckon they will be the team to beat.

  • dexylongshot

    What was i saying about Berg rising for the occassion!

  • Michael

    Would expect Serbia to do well, they have that Man utd right midfielder who is amazing at free kicks and corners and the like, and would expect the Serbs to have strength and height in the air.

  • dexylongshot

    Yeah, they looked good the other night. I never got round to putting my bets on for them. Don’t fancy facing them with our forward line of midgets.

  • dexylongshot

    Roll on the semis! We can take any of them on in our form at the mo, the world is at our feet as an average world cup song once warbled!

  • dexylongshot

    Sweden in the next game, I can’t believe how much little press we are getting for this tournament.

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