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Page last updated at 18:37 GMT, Wednesday, 3 December 2008

England U21s handed tricky draw

Stuart Pearce
Stuart Pearce will lead England in Sweden

England Under-21s have been drawn with Spain, Germany and Finland in Group B of next summer's European Championships in Sweden.

The hosts are up against Italy, Belarus and Serbia in Group A.

England qualified for the play-offs by winning seven of their eight group games before advancing to the finals with a 5-4 aggregate win over Wales.

Coach Stuart Pearce will hope England can improve on their 2007 showing, when they reached the semi-finals.

England will be encouraged by their victory over Germany in a play-off over two legs to reach the 2007 finals.

They faced Spain early in Pearce's reign as Under-21 coach, with David Nugent and Leroy Lita scoring to secure a draw after falling 2-0 behind, and Pearce's side have not been beaten since the last tournament.

"I believe we'll be in a better position this time around than we were going into Holland in 2007," said Pearce

"Our aim has been to win it and between now and then there is a lot of football to be played, so we must use that to improve as a squad and individually."

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see also
England U21 2-0 Czech Rep U21
18 Nov 08 |  Internationals
Pearce relieved to reach finals
10 Oct 08 |  Internationals
England U21 2-2 Wales U21 (5-4)
14 Oct 08 |  Internationals

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