Italy U21 v Serbia U21 (Group A)
Date: Tuesday 16th June
Kickoff: 19:45 GMT
5-time champions Italy will hope to make a winning start to their Euro Under-21 campaign when they take on Serbia at the Olympia Stadium in Helsingborg on Tuesday. You can watch Italy U21 v Serbia U21 live here.
Serbia will be hoping to repeat the heroics of last time in this game. The Serbians qualified for this tournament by beating Denmark 2-0 on aggregate. Serbia coach Slobodan Krcmarevic will hope his young side is capable of springing a surprise or two in this tournament and with the likes of Gojko Kacar and Zoran Tosic in their ranks, Serbian fans will be hoping for a good summer outing for the youth side.
Indeed, Serbia have been picked as the favourites by several pundits to cause an upset in this tournament.
The last time these two teams met Serbia emerged shock 1-0 winners. This was in the opening game of the last UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Netherlands. Dejan Milovanovic has scored the lone goal of that game. Italy will hope to make a different beginning this time around.
Italy, who are five-time winners of this tournament, qualified for Sweden by beating Israel 3-1 on aggregate in the qualifying play-offs. Italy coach Pierluigi Casiraghi has himself experienced the thrills of this tournament in 1990 when he was a part of the squad that beat Yugoslavia in the semi-finals.
The Azzurrini prepared for this tournament in a fine fashion with a 4-0 victory against Denmark in a warm-up game on Tuesday. Mario Balotelli, Robert Acquafresca, Daniele Dessena and Andrea Ranocchia all scored in that game and fans will be looking up to them to secure safe passage through the group stages in Sweden.
Back to the Under-21 Euro 2009 page.