England Under-21s to face Portugal, Croatia and Switzerland in Euro 2021 group

England U21 v Andorra U21 – UEFA Euro 2021 Under-21 Qualifying – Group 3 – Molineux
(Image credit: Mike Egerton)

England Under-21s will face Portugal, Croatia and Switzerland at Euro 2021.

The Young Lions will play in Group D in next year’s competition in Hungary and Slovenia.

England met Croatia in Group C at Euro 2019 and drew 3-3 in San Marino.

Aidy Boothroyd’s team, who were one of the top seeds in Thursday’s draw, are aiming to win the tournament for the first time since 1984.

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England were unbeaten in qualifying, winning nine games and drawing once to top Group Three, with Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah the top scorer in qualifying with 13.

The tournament has been split next year, with UEFA reorganising due to the coronavirus pandemic. The group stage will be held between March 24-31 with the knock-out phase in May and June, ahead of the reorganised senior European Championship.

The Young Lions were knocked out at the group stage in 2019 – failing to win a game after losing to Romania and France before their draw with Croatia.

Aidy Boothroyd will take England Under-21s to Euro 2021

Aidy Boothroyd will take England Under-21s to Euro 2021 (Tim Goode/PA)

Phil Foden, James Maddison, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Dean Henderson were part of the squad which underachieved.

England were runners-up in 2009 – losing 4-0 to Germany – and reached the semi-finals under Boothroyd in 2017, being beaten by Germany on penalties.

The competition has been extended to 16 teams for the first time with defending champions Spain favourites.

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