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England U21s ready for kick-off in UEFA U21 Championships

15/6/2009
England’s young lions kick-off their UEFA U21 Championships campaign in Halmstad tonight against Finland, with manager Stuart Pearce knowing that only a win will do if his team are to have any hope of progressing from a tough Group B.

Pearce’s talented youngsters will have to shake off their habit of starting slowly in U21 tournaments and take maximum points from a relatively unknown Finland side to prepare themselves for tricky fixtures against Spain and Germany later in the group.

The Spanish U21s, who boast highly-rated Barcelona striker Bojan among their rank, are the current favourites to win the tournament at 10/3, while Germany are also not far off the pace at odds of 6/1. England, meanwhile, are rated by the bookies as 4/1 to take the U21 title, but if they fail to secure victory in tonight’s opening game such odds will undoubtedly open dramatically.

However, with Theo Walcott and Gabriel Agbonlahor set to lead the line against the Finns and highly-rated SPL midfielder Andrew Driver taking his place in midfield, the young lions will feel that they have every chance of tearing out of the blocks with a crucial opening victory. The bookies seem to concur and have named England as massive 1/3 favourites, meaning that this time tomorrow, England could be just one win away from the semi-finals.
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