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Page last updated at 15:55 GMT, Tuesday, 9 November 2010

England U21s get tough European Championship draw

Jordan Henderson (centre) celebrates his goal against Romania
Jordan Henderson celebrates his play-off goal against Romania

England's Under-21s have been handed arguably the toughest possible draw for the 2011 European Championship finals.

Boss Stuart Pearce's side paid the price for failing to achieve seeded status as they were placed in Group B with Spain, Czech Republic and Ukraine.

Hosts Denmark, Switzerland, Belarus and Iceland are in Group A for the tournament which runs 11-25 June.

England were runners-up at the 2009 event, losing 4-0 to Germany in the final, and semi-finalists in 2007.

However, Pearce's men are only one of three survivors from the 2009 tournament in Sweden, along with Spain and Belarus. Major nations such as champions Germany, Italy, France, Portugal and Holland all failed to qualify.


England will begin next summer's campaign against Spain - who won eight of their ten matches in qualifying - in Henning on 12 June, before facing Ukraine at the same venue four days later.

They then take on top seeds Czech Republic - who won nine and drew one of their ten qualifying matches - in Viborg on 19 June, with the top two from the group securing semi-final spots.

England qualified for the tournament in Denmark courtesy of a 2-1 aggregate win in a two-legged play-off against Romania.

Pearce's men had finished second in qualifying Group 9, two points behind Greece, in a group that also contained Portugal, Lithuania and Macedonia.

England's Under 21s have twice won the tournament, in Germany in 1982 before defending their crown in Spain in 1984.

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see also
England U21s given Wembley date
01 Oct 09 |  Internationals
England U21 2-1 Romania U21
08 Oct 10 |  Football
Romania U21 0-0 England U21 (1-2)
12 Oct 10 |  Football
England U21 3-0 Lithuania U21
07 Sep 10 |  Football
Germany U21 4-0 England U21
29 Jun 09 |  Internationals

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