Croatia vs England: U21s European Championship preview

Just as they did two years ago, Aidy Boothroyd’s men have lost their opening two group matches – against Portugal and Switzerland – and their fate is no longer in their hands heading into this evening’s game.

The Young Lions must beat Croatia and hope that group leaders Portugal beat Switzerland, at which point goal difference would come into play to decide who progresses through to the quarter-finals, which will take place at the end of the club season.

Date, kick-off time and venue

Croatia U21s vs England U21s is scheduled for a 5pm BST kick-off today – Wednesday, March 31, 2021.

The game will be played behind closed doors at Bonifika Stadium in Koper, Slovenia.

How to watch

TV channel: The match will be broadcast live on Sky Sports’ Main Event and Premier League channels, with coverage beginning at 4:30pm.

Live stream: Subscribers can stream the match live online and on mobile via SkyGo. 

England U21 team news

Arsenal playmaker Emile Smith Rowe is also a huge doubt for tonight’s game.

The under-fire Boothroyd made several changes to his lineup between the first two games, promising a more attacking side, but it had little effect, with his team still yet to muster a shot on target from open play.

The FA via Getty Images

England U21 squad in full

Goalkeepers: Josef Bursik (Stoke City), Josh Griffiths (Cheltenham Town, loan from West Bromwich Albion), Aaron Ramsdale (Sheffield United) 

Defenders: Max Aarons (Norwich City), Ben Godfrey (Everton), Marc Guehi (Swansea City, loan from Chelsea), Lloyd Kelly (AFC Bournemouth), Ryan Sessegnon (Hoffenheim, loan from Tottenham Hotspur), Steven Sessegnon (Bristol City, loan from Fulham), Japhet Tanganga (Tottenham Hotspur), Ben Wilmot (Watford)

Midfielders: Todd Cantwell (Norwich City), Tom Davies (Everton), Ebere Eze (Crystal Palace), Conor Gallagher (West Bromwich Albion, loan from Chelsea), Curtis Jones (Liverpool), Dwight McNeil (Burnley), Oliver Skipp (Norwich City, loan from Tottenham Hotspur)

Attackers: Rhian Brewster (Sheffield United), Noni Madueke (PSV Eindhoven), Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal), Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal) 

Prediction: England U21 1-1 Croatia U21

England surely cannot be as bad as in the first two games and the desperation of their situation may shake them out of their attacking slumber.

However, their performances have been so underwhelming that it is difficult to see them getting the result they need to progress.

Betting odds and tips

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