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[monks data]
Jun 28, 2022 at 4pm UK at Národné tréningové centrum SFZ
England U19s
2 - 1
Italy U19s
Scott (58'), Quansah (82')
Iroegbunam (3'), Devine (84'), Scott (90+6'), Jebbison (90+7')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Miretti (12' pen.)
Desplanches (36'), Ghilardi (61'), Faticanti (66'), Coppola (75'), Miretti (90+5'), Nasti (90+6')

Preview: England Under-19s vs. Italy Under-19s - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's European Under-19s Championship clash between England Under-19s and Italy Under-19s, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

The opening semi-final of the UEFA European Under-19 Championship, on Tuesday, pits together two nations who met in last year's senior final, as England Under-19s clash with Italy Under-19s in Slovakia.

While the Young Lions have cruised through to the final four with three wins from three so far, their Azzurrini counterparts were beaten by favourites France on Friday and reached the semis as Group A runners-up.

Match preview

Liam Delap celebrates scoring on his debut for Manchester City on September 24, 2020© Reuters

As the group stage came to its conclusion on Saturday, a sixth-minute strike from Liam Delap ensured England beat Group B rivals Israel to top spot, maintaining their 100% record in the process.

The Manchester City forward received the ball from Tottenham's Alfie Devine and steered it into the roof of the net, and the Young Lions subsequently held on for a seventh straight victory despite resting several first-teamers.

A 4-0 crushing of Serbia last week had already seen Ian Foster's side become the third team to seal their semi-final spot, and they now journey on to Senec's National Training Centre in search of a place in Friday's finale.

England's semi-final record at this level reads three wins and as many defeats from six matches, and if Foster's talented team are to emulate the Championship-winning side of 2017, they will need to extend an impressive undefeated streak of nine games.

The former Kidderminster Harriers striker has assembled a group featuring some Premier League experience - particularly Aston Villa's Carney Chukwuemeka - and will have several selection headaches to resolve, given his squad's strength in depth.

Standing in the way of their progress to Trnava, where the final will be played, are an Italy side who may be chastened by a 4-1 defeat suffered at the hands of a formidable French side on Friday night.

Though Roma's Cristian Volpato gave the Azzurrini an early lead, the momentum changed when Florent Da Silva stunned them with an equaliser soon after: conceding three further goals surely means members of a much-changed starting XI should fear for their places on Tuesday.

Nonetheless, Carmine Nunziata's side had already assured a place in the semis with one-goal victories over both Romania and competition hosts Slovakia. Therefore, defeat in Dunajska Streda will not detract too much from Italy's quest for their first triumph in this age group since 2003.

Like England, they qualified for these finals in some style, topping preliminary Group 12 by sweeping aside Lithuania, Iceland and Slovenia, before coming through the elite round in impressive fashion - drawing with Germany and beating both Finland and Belgium.

Despite last week's reverse - their first for seven games - the Azzurrini have lost just twice in 13 matches, so Nunziata's boys will fancy their chances of causing an upset and perhaps reconvening with France in the final.

England Under-19s European Under-19s Championship form:
  • W
  • W
  • W

England Under-19s form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Italy Under-19s European Under-19s Championship form:
  • W
  • W
  • L

Italy Under-19s form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L

Team News

Aston Villa's Carney Chukwuemeka pictured in December 2021© Reuters

After making a raft of changes to the side against Israel, a number of players will return to England's first XI for Tuesday's semi-final.

Carney Chukwuemeka's stint as stand-in captain could be over, as Harvey Vale returns on the left flank, but the former will keep his place in central midfield as one of the Euros' standout players so far, with two goals and two assists to his name.

The defensive duo of Brooke Norton-Cuffy and Callum Doyle are also set to come back in, with Tottenham's Dane Scarlett - who has racked up eight goals in qualifying and the first three games of these finals - starting up front.

Alfie Devine - a teammate of Scarlett at Spurs - will hope to feature in Ian Foster's midfield, following his assist on Saturday, but Liam Delap is expected to drop to the bench despite his winning goal.

Meanwhile, Italy will also revert to type, persisting with a probable 4-3-1-2 formation in which Cristian Volpato will expect to keep his place up front, having been the match-winner against Romania and scored the opening goal versus France.

The Australia-born forward, who broke into Roma's senior setup towards the end of last season, should support Napoli striker Giuseppe Ambrosino in the front two.

Samuele Giovane returns to captain the team from left-back, while Milan's Sebastiano Desplanches is restored in goal and Fabio Miretti of Juventus features in midfield.

England Under-19s possible starting lineup:
Cox; Quansah, Edwards, Doyle; Norton-Cuffy, Iroegbunam, Chukwuemeka, Vale; Ramsey, Devine; Scarlett

Italy Under-19s possible starting lineup:
Desplanches; Mulazzi, Gilardi, Coppola, Giovane; Fabbian, Faticanti, Casadei; Miretti; Volpato, Ambrosino

SM words green background

We say: England Under-19s 2-1 Italy Under-19s (after extra time)

With momentum, greater club experience and more squad depth in their favour, England should force their way through to the final. However, Italy are a tough prospect when at full strength, and it may take 120 minutes for the Young Lions to get the job done.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Aston Villa's Carney Chukwuemeka pictured in December 2021
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