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Spurs striker Harry Kane to fire England Under-21s past Portugal

| 13.11.2014

Gareth Southgate’s Young Lions (odds-on favourites with Coral at 5/6 to win) have an excellent opportunity to sharpen their claws against Portugal in this feisty friendly, ahead of the Euro 2015 Under-21 Championships next summer.

England have been drawn in a dangerous Group B that will pit them against the Iberians, as well as big-guns Italy and Sweden, and this early encounter will be a perfect opportunity to lay down a marker.

The Young Lions will entertain their visitors at Turf Moor, where Burnley forward Danny Ings will feel right at home as he returns to the international fold after an injury lay-off.

Ings (4/1 to close the scoring) has an impressive strike rate for the Young Lions, with two goals in three outings, but is still finding his feet for the Clarets this campaign.

In the absence of brilliant Saido Berahino, who has been promoted to the senior squad, England will be looking to Tottenham attacker Harry Kane to fire them forward.

The Spurs striker grabbed six goals in qualifying, after netting 10 times in 15 outings across all competitions for his club, is 4/1 to draw first blood or 5/1 to bag a brace or better.

Kane will be supported by Derby County midfielder Will Hughes (6/1 to get a goal anytime) and as yet uncapped Bournemouth frontman Callum Wilson.

The Cherries attacker has hit home nine times in the Championship this term, also providing four assists, and is 5/1 to cap his bow with the last strike.

England’s exciting young attackers will not be able to have it all their own way though, as Portugal boast plenty of forward threat themselves. Navigators’ widemen Carlos Mane (7/1 to open scoring) and Bruma (11/1 to bag a brace or better) were both reared in the same Sporting Lisbon academy as Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Figo, and are tipped for bright futures.

These two fleet-footed attackers could test the hosts down the flanks, but are not the only outlets the Navigators can boast, with on-loan Liverpool starlet Joao Carlos Teixiera also in the Iberian outfit’s ranks. Currently plying his trade for Brighton and Hove Albion, the creative wingman netted on his last international outing and is 11/2 score anytime again.

Meanwhile, apparent Reds target Fabio Sturgeon, who is also eligible for England, could be set to earn his first Under-21 cap and should be aiming to impress Premier League scouts.

After topping their Euro 2015 qualifying group, with eight wins from eight, Portugal are a plucky 11/4 to push past their hosts. Despite their abundance of attacking options, however, the Navigators will be facing agile and experienced custodian and skipper Jack Butland.

With the Stoke City-owned stopper and top-flight tested West Ham United loanee Carl Jenkinson bolstering the backline, the Young Lions are 11/5 to keep a clean sheet.



Holly Thackeray

Holly is a member of the content team, and can often be found on the sports desk writing about favourite topics Serie A and East Asian footballing nations. A recent darts convert, she is also a fully-fledged member of Barney's Army and a proud Leeds-born Manchester United fan.