England U21s face Portugal, Croatia and Switzerland in Group D of the European Championship
“History tells us that this competition is about as competitive as it gets and we know we will have to be at our best. Because we are in the middle of the domestic season, everyone will have to hit the ground running as soon as they come together but we are ready for the challenge. We can’t wait to get started.”
A decision has been made that all matches will be played behind closed doors, but UEFA has yet to confirm whether the knockout phase will be open to fans.
All England matches will be televised by
Sky Sports, with kick-off times not clashing with senior team fixtures on the same days.
England U21 squad
Goalkeepers: Josh Griffiths (Cheltenham Town), Josef Bursik (Stoke City), Aaron Ramsdale (Sheffield United)
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Defenders: Max Aarons (Norwich), Ben Godfrey (Everton), Marc Guehi (Swansea), Lloyd Kelly (Bournemouth), Ryan Sessegnon (Hoffenheim), Steven Sessegnon (Bristol City), Japhet Tanganga (Tottenham), Ben Wilmot (Watford)
Midfielders: Dwight McNeil (Burnley), Oliver Skipp (Norwich), Tom Davies (Everton), Conor Gallagher (West Brom), Curtis Jones (Liverpool), Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal)
Forwards: Ebere Eze (Crystal Palace), Rhian Brewster (Sheffield United), Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea), Mason Greenwood (Manchester United), Noni Madueke (PSV Eindhoven), Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal)
Aidy Boothroyd has named his 23-man squad for the group stage of the European U21 Championship
Greenwood stays with U21s but could Bellingham get senior call?
Sky Sports’ Nick Wright:
As ever, Aidy Boothroyd’s U21 squad offers clues about what to expect from the next senior squad announcement, which is coming up on Thursday.
We now know there will be no place for Mason Greenwood, who is still waiting for a return to Gareth Southgate’s squad since he breached coronavirus guidelines along with Phil Foden at England’s team hotel in Reykjavik in September.
Greenwood has featured prominently for Manchester United recently, starting 12 of their last 16 games in all competitions, but he has not found the net since January.
And while Foden is a more established presence among the seniors, Southgate evidently feels Greenwood’s development is best served with the U21s for now.
Could Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham be in line for another senior England call-up?
Jude Bellingham’s absence suggests he will get another chance with Southgate’s side. The 17-year-old became England’s third-youngest player when he came on as a substitute during the 3-0 win over Republic of Ireland in November and has continued to impress for Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund since then.
Callum Hudson-Odoi, like Greenwood, has to settle for a place with the U21s despite having previously been involved at senior level, while Emile Smith Rowe’s call-up shows he will not be fast-tracked into Southgate’s squad despite his eye-catching breakthrough at Arsenal this season.
England U21 group-stage fixtures
ENGLAND v Switzerland
Thursday, March 25; kick-off 2pm Stadion Bonifika, Koper, Slovenia Live on Sky Sports Football
Portugal v ENGLAND
Sunday, March 28; kick-off 8pm Stadion Stoziche, Ljubljana, Slovenia Live on Sky Sports Football
Croatia v ENGLAND
Wednesday, March 31; kick-off 5pm Stadion Bonifika, Koper, Slovenia Live on Sky Sports Football
England U21s won nine of their 10 qualifiers to reach the tournament
European U21 Championship draw in full
Group A: Hungary, Germany, Romania, Netherlands
Group B: Slovenia, Spain, Czech Republic, Italy
Group C: Russia, Iceland, France, Denmark
Group D: Portugal, Croatia, England, Switzerland
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