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Can Lee Carsley's England win the Under-21 Euros?

The 2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship is underway with England kicking off on Thursday looking for a first tournament victory since 1984.

Where is the tournament?

Romania and Georgia are co-hosting the tournament despite the capital cities of Bucharest and Tbilisi being more than 2,000km apart.

The Championship kicks off on Wednesday, June 21 and the group stage runs until June 28, with the top two from each progressing to the quarter-finals.

The final will take place at Georgia's Batumi Arena on July 8.

Where can you watch the tournament?

Stream on UEFA.tv

Who is taking part in Euro 2023?

Group A: Georgia, Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands

Group B: Romania, Spain, Ukraine, Croatia

Group C: Czech Republic, England, Germany, Israel

Group D: Norway, Switzerland, France, Italy

England games

Group C: England vs Czech Republic, June 22 (5pm)

Group C: England vs Israel, June 25 (5pm)

Group C: England vs Germany, June 28 (5pm)

Focus on England

England won consecutive tournaments in 1982 and 1984, but it's been a while since the young Three Lions tasted any sort of success in Europe.
England have qualified for nine championships in a row but disappointingly went out in the group stage two years ago. And you have to go back to 2009 for their last final appearance when the likes of Mark Noble, James Milner and Theo Walcott were rolled over 4-0 by Germany.
The previous tournament in 2007, England reached the semis and lost 13-12 to the Netherlands on penalties with Leroy Lita scoring in normal time in a 1-1 draw.
It's a tournament that often goes under the radar, but a number of experienced internationals have played in the tournament before becoming senior players.

England have probably suffered at U21 level by promoting their best young players straight into the senior side. Bukayo Saka, 21, who scored a hat-trick for England's senior side in their 7-0 win over North Macedonia has only ever appeared once for the England Under-21s.

England will have to cope without their six-goal top scorer from qualifying, Folarin Balogun. The Arsenal striker has switched international allegiance to the United States and scored on his debut for the USA over the weekend.
But Aston Villa's Cameron Archer, who made six sub appearances in the Premier League last season, is a decent replacement. He scored four goals in qualifying, at a rate of one every 35 minutes, scoring with all four shots on target.

Who will be England's star man?

Chelsea winger Noni Madueke may also benefit from taking on more responsibility in front of goal. The 21-year-old scored once for Chelsea last season in the 3-1 defeat at Arsenal and he has just one U21 goal to his name after working his way through the England youth ranks.
The talented Madueke could be England's star man. After signing from PSV Eindhoven in January, Madueke started to find his feet at the end of the season and was named man of the Match after terrorising Bournemouth's defence in a 3-1 win.
Madueke looks to have settled in west London and this tournament could be the launchpad for a breakthrough season in the Premier League.
Liverpool pair Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones will be two of the players that England will rely on as creators. Both have had their injury problems, but the duo are both fit and looking to give their club careers a lift with some eye-catching performances.
Newcastle's Anthony Gordon will also have plenty to prove after leaving Everton for the North-East. But his game time was limited as the Magpies forced their way in the Champions League for 2023/24.

Recent form

After winning eight of their 10 qualifying games in Group G, they have since lost warm-up games to Croatia and a Japan Under-22 side.

A draw and a defeat to Slovenia were their only blemishes in qualifying but since then Carsley's men have slipped up twice.

It's fair to say that both of those games were experimental with Carsley using eight subs in the 2-1 loss to Croatia in March.

Meanwhile, all bar keeper Josh Griffiths got a run-out at St George's Park in the 2-0 defeat to Japan on June 10.

Carsley was obviously looking at his options and named his 23-man squad four days later.
After breezing through qualifying, where England used a large number of players, those two defeats may well serve as a wake-up call for England's young lions.

Can England win the 2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship?

After two defeats heading into the tournament there is not too much expectation on Lee Carsley's men.
Spain and France are favourites with the bookies at around 4/1. But England routed France 4-0 in March and the 6/1 about a victory for England is decent value.
Carsley is hoping for a big tournament: "I'm confident in the group, I feel like we're in a good position and we're going to go out there and really attack every team and I'm confident we can do well."
Germany, who England will face in the group stage, are next in the betting. They have reached three finals in a row and won the tournament in 2017 and 2021.
Italy are fifth favourites at 9/1 and the Netherlands are 12/1 shots having reached the semi-finals last time.
England face the Czech Republic and Israel before a final group game with Germany. They should get through the group, having beaten the Czechs twice in qualifying.
The Netherlands or Portugal will likely be the opponents in the last eight and a semi-final clash against group rivals Germany looms large.
A semi-final appearance would be a decent showing giving England's record in this tournament, but if they can beat Germany in the semis, then who knows?

Who is in the England squad?

Goalkeepers: Josh Griffiths (West Brom), Carl Rushworth (Brighton), James Trafford (Manchester City)

Defenders: Max Aarons (Norwich), Jarrad Branthwaite (Everton), Levi Colwill (Chelsea), Charlie Cresswell (Leeds), Taylor Harwood-Bellis (Manchester City), Ben Johnson (West Ham), Luke Thomas (Leicester)

Midfielders: Tommy Doyle (Manchester City), Harvey Elliott (Liverpool), James Garner (Everton), Angel Gomes (Lille), Curtis Jones (Liverpool), Jacob Ramsey (Aston Villa), Oliver Skipp (Tottenham)

Forwards: Cameron Archer (Aston Villa), Morgan Gibbs-White (Nottingham Forest), Anthony Gordon (Newcastle), Noni Madueke (Chelsea), Cole Palmer (Manchester City), Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal)

READ MORE: Conor Gallagher: England star Bukayo Saka is a 'special player'

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