On Tuesday, the semifinals of the 2019 FIFA Under-20 World Cup will take place. Ukraine and Italy will take part in the first semifinal, after Ukraine eliminated Colombia, 1-0, and Italy doubled up Mali, 4-2, in their quarterfinals on Friday. Ecuador eliminated the United States, 2-1, in a quarterfinal on Saturday and will take part in the later semifinal against South Korea, who eliminated Senegal on penalty kicks in their quarterfinal. None of the four teams remaining hav ever won an Under-20 World Cup before, so any winner would be a first-time champion, as such normal contenders as Portugal, Argentina and France have all fallen by the wayside. We have sports betting thoughts about each of the semifinal matchups for your consideration going into tomorrow’s matches.
2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup Semifinals Odds & Preview
24 hours from now, the #U20WC semi-finals kick off!
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) June 10, 2019
Ukraine vs Italy (11:30am ET)
- 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup Odds: Ukraine +205 / Italy +133 / Draw +193 / O/U 2
Ukraine won Group D with a pair of wins and a draw, as Denys Popov and Serhii Buletsa scored in a 2-1 win over the United States to open group play. Buletsa provided an assist to Popov in the team’s 1-0 victory over Qatar. With two group play wins in hand, a side made up largely of reserves drew Nigeria, 1-1, in a meaningless third game. In the round of 16, Buletsa returned back to the starting lineup, and Ukraine rolled over Panama, 4-1. In the quarterfinals, Danylo Sikan had the only goal. Popov was injured in the 86th minute of that game and remains questionable for Tuesday.
Italy opened group play with a 2-1 win over Mexico and then downed Ecuador, 1-0. Then Italy and Japan drew, 0-0, in the last match, as Italy had nine changes in their starting lineup. Italy beat Poland in the round of 16 and then routed Mali in the quarterfinals. Look for striker Andrea Pinamonti to key the Italian attack. Italy is a slight favorite, and it’s hard to argue against that offense, particularly since Ukraine’s top goalie was called up to the senior team.
Final Score Prediction: Italy 3, Ukraine 2
Ecuador vs South Korea (2:30pm ET)
- 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup Odds: Ecuador +100 / South Korea +230 / Draw +225 / O/U 2
Ecuador’s World Cup looked grim at the outset, with a 1-1 draw against Japan — and then lost to Italy, 1-0. But then Ecuador made it out of a shady group with a 1-0 win over Mexico to reach the round of 16, where they rolled to a 3-1 win over Uruguay. Then came the win over the United States, which could have been a lot more of a rout had two of Ecuador’s shots not hit the woodwork.
South Korea also opened their World Cup campaign poorly, losing 1-0 to Portugal. They did pick up a 1-0 over win against South Africa and then took down soccer patriarch Argentina to close out group play. They beat Japan in the round of 16, 1-0, and then needed penalty kicks to get by Senegal in the quarterfinals — and without a header off a set-piece eight minutes into stoppage time, they would have lost to Senegal without the shots. South Korea has beaten the better opponents, and it’s hard to turn your nose up at the value available.
Final Score Prediction: South Korea 2, Ecuador 1