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Croatia vs England: U21s European Championships preview

E

ngland U21s know they must beat Croatia in their final group game to stand any chance of qualifying for the European Championship knockout stages after a dismal campaign so far.

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 Wednesday’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 to the quarter-finals, which will take place at the end of the club season.

Date, kick-off time and venue

Croatia U21 vs England U21 is scheduled for a 5pm kick-off on 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. 

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

England team news

Aidy Boothroyd will hope to have Callum Hudson-Odoi available again after he missed the defeat to Portugal with a shoulder problem.

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

England 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), Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea), Noni Madueke (PSV Eindhoven), Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal), Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal) 

Prediction: England 1-1 Croatia

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 (subject to change)


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