England U21s look to respond to defeat against Switzerland in Group D; knockout stage to be played in May and June; you can watch England in the Euro U21 Championship live on Sky Sports Football, and watch every other match in the Group Stages live on Sky Sports Football YouTube
Saturday 27 March 2021 16:00, UK
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England Under-21s manager Aidy Boothroyd has vowed to play on the front foot against Portugal after a poor display in the opening European Under-21 Championship group match against Switzerland.
That could mean a change in formation more than personnel with Callum Hudson-Odoi, Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah operating more as a front three after the Young Lions mustered just one shot on target in the 1-0 reverse on Thursday.
Todd Cantwell and Curtis Jones could be included having been named as substitutes in the opening defeat.
Portugal Under-21s are able to call upon Barcelona’s Francisco Trincao and Sporting Lisbon’s Pedro Goncalves, who will cause England plenty of problems out wide.
England face a formidable pairing in central defence, too, with Diogo Queiros and Diogo Leite set to play alongside each other.
What Boothroyd has said
England boss Aidy Bothroyd: “We played a safe game today and if you are going to win you can’t play safe,” said the England coach, whose contract is up this summer. “I felt at half-time we had more from us to come. The substitutes we brought on we had a go but unfortunately if was not our day today.
“We focus quickly on the next game and make sure we get a good result.
“This is the biggest test and we have to go through a bit of adversity to come through the other side. Am I worried about it? No I am not because the team that goes out against Portugal will be a very attacking team and we will see if we can improve.”
‘England must pick themselves up for Portugal’
Sky Sports pundit Andy Hinchcliffe:
“Aidy will have to assess this performance, see where Switzerland did well and see where England can improve heading into the Portugal game. He’s certainly got the squad to change things around.
“The next game now is simply a must-win for them. The opening game is always critical in tournament football and you tend to be a bit conservative. Nil-nil wouldn’t have been a great result, but considering how the game went, England probably would’ve taken it given the number of chances the Swiss had.
“The mentality now is so important. How do you lift those England players? They’re going to have to also lift themselves as the coach can’t do all the work. The players have to pick themselves up and they will need to step it up another level.”
How to follow
You can watch England in the Euro U21 Championship live on Sky Sports Football and watch every other match in the Group Stages live on Sky Sports Football YouTube. Subscribe to the channel to ensure you don’t miss any of the action.
England’s two remaining group fixtures will be blogged live on SkySports.com and the Sky Sports App:
- England U21 vs Portugal U21 – Sunday March 28, 8pm; Stozice Stadium, Ljubljana (Sky Sports Football)
- England U21 vs Croatia U21 – Wednesday March 31, 5pm; Bonifika Stadium, Koper (Sky Sports Football)
Full fixtures can be found here
European U21 Championship group stages – March 24-31
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
The knockout stages will take place May 31 to June 6
Full fixtures can be found here
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