Young Lions are among the favourites

Lewis Hamilton will be looking to follow up his win in Canada when the F1 season heads to Austria
Lewis Hamilton will be looking to follow up his win in Canada when the F1 season heads to Austria

Unlike former senior team coach Fabio Capello, who made a point of banning certain sauces from players’ diet when on international duty, under-21 boss Gareth Southgate has pledged not to prevent his charges from eating tomato ketchup – or baked beans – during this month’s European Under-21 tournament in the Czech Republic.

The nation sleeps easier.

England’s dietary regime has clearly served them well to date, for having won nine of their 10 qualifying matches (drawing the other), Southgate’s youngsters go into this two-group, eight-team championship priced as Stan James’s 9/2 second favourites.

Germany – who else – at 11/4 (BetVictor), head the betting and Portugal are also in with a shout according to Paddy Power, who rate them at 6/1.

England’s opener comes against the Portuguese today (Thursday) and William Hill price them at 6/4 to deliver a statement of intent in Group B by landing a maximum haul.

In what should be a tight affair, bet365 go 3/1 about the Three Lions shading it by one, Skybet mark 15/2 against a 1-0 success and Harry Kane is an 11/2 chance with bet365 to set Southgate’s troops on their way by breaking the deadlock.

Warrington’s busy schedule is affecting their form according to coach Tony Smith but the inconsistent Wolves are tipped to tighten their grip on a top-eight berth in tomorrow (Friday) evening’s televised Super League contest at Hull Kingston Rovers.

The visitors are bet365’s 1/2 favourites to land the two points at Craven Park, where the Robins are William Hill’s 7/4 underdogs and accordingly, as they’re fancied to emerge triumphant, Warrington are penalised in the handicaps; betway giving them six points to overhaul at odds of 19/20.

Paul Smith has described opponent Andre Ward as the ‘Mourinho of boxing’ as he prepares for the pair’s catch-weight contest in California this weekend.

The gutsy scouser certainly has a mountain to climb against the unbeaten American, the only man to have defeated Carl Froch, and the odds reflect the task facing Smith.

The 32-year-old heads to Oakland as a massive 12/1 underdog at Stan James while Ladbrokes’s slender 1/25 is the best price available for Ward to improve his record to 28-0.

Skybet are confident that the home fighter will get the job done inside the distance, chalking him up at 4/6 to prevail via a KO and Paddy Power post 13/8 against the awkward Ward registering a points victory.

As the Californian hasn’t fought for 19 months, however, one or two punters might fancy the brave Smith to cause what would be a massive upset and for them, BetVictor offer 40/1 about the Liverpudlian edging it on the judges’ scorecards.

Lewis Hamilton extended his lead in Formula One’s Drivers Championship to 17 points following his victory in the Canadian Grand Prix and the Mercedes man is just 1/7 at BetVictor to retain his title.

He’s also odds-on, this time at 1/2 courtesy of rack up another success as the season moves on to Austria.

Ladbrokes price Hamilton’s team-mate and rival Nico Rosberg at 11/4 to secure a much-needed win and it’s 4/7 (BetVictor) in a forecast for the Brit to lead the German home once more.

Bet of the week: England U21 to beat Portugal U21 by one – 3/1 (bet365).

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