MX23RW : Thursday, July 29 12:52:38| >> :600:4653000:4653000:
Mar 28, 2021 at 8pm UK at Estadio Nacional
Portugal U21sPortugal Under-21s
2-0
England U21sEngland Under-21s
Mota (64'), Trincao (74' pen.)
Correia (52'), Ramos (90+1')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Godfrey (67')

Preview: Portugal Under-21s vs. England Under-21s - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Under-21 Euros clash between Portugal Under-21s and England Under-21s, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

England Under-21s will be looking to bounce back from their opening European Under-21 Championship defeat on Sunday, as they take on Portugal Under-21s in Ljubljana.

Having lost their first of three group games, the Young Lions will be relying on a victory to keep them in the hunt for qualification to the knockout stage, while the Portuguese youngsters should confirm their advancement with a win, after they defeated Croatia Under-21s in their opening game.


Match preview

England Under-21s boss Aidy Boothroyd pictured in November 2019© Reuters

Portugal Under-21s got off to a strong start in their European Championship campaign last time out, as a second-half Fabio Vieira goal fired them to a 1-0 victory over Croatia Under-21s.

That came after a dominant run in the qualifying stage for Rui Jorge's side, as they advanced out of their group with 27 points from their 10 games.

The Portuguese youngsters currently boast a run of eight consecutive wins in all competitions, with their last defeat coming to the Netherlands Under-21s in 2019.

Their chances of advancing through Group D now look very strong, with a second victory all but confirming their progression to the final eight, with the knockout games beginning in May.

However, they take on an England Under-21s side who will be looking to record their first win of the tournament after a narrow defeat to Switzerland Under-21s last time out.

England Under-21 striker Eddie Nketiah celebrates scoring against Turkey with teammates in the UEFA Euro 2021 qualifiers on October 13, 2020© Reuters

The game looked set to finish goalless, until Dan Ndoye's 77th-minute effort was deflected over Aaron Ramsdale and into the England net.

As a result, the Young Lions now sit in a precarious position in Group D, with a win crucial if they are to remain with a chance of progressing to the quarter-final stage.

Manager Aidy Boothroyd will take encouragement from his side's strong performance in the qualifying stage, when they topped their group with nine wins and a draw from 10 matches.

In that time, the Young Lions netted an impressive tally of 34 goals, while only allowing nine goals at the other end.

They finished off the qualifying campaign with a dominant 5-0 win over Albania Under-21s, as Callum Hudson-Odoi, James Justin and Jamal Musiala all got on the scoresheet before Eddie Nketiah netted a brace.

Boothroyd will feel that if they can return to the form that saw them cruise through their qualifying group, they should still stand a good chance of qualification from Group D, but it is vital that they pick up a result on Sunday to make that possible.

Portugal Under-21s European Under-21 Championship form:
  • W

Portugal Under-21s form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

England Under-21s European Under-21 Championship form:
  • L

England Under-21s form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L


Team News

England Under-21 players celebrate Callum Hudson-Odoi's goal against Andorra in the European qualifiers on November 13, 2020© Reuters

Portugal Under-21s boast a dangerous front line, with Barcelona's Francisco Trincao and Sporting Lisbon's Pedro Goncalves offering a major threat from the wide areas.

Goncalves has led Sporting Lisbon to the top of the Portuguese top flight with 15 league goals this campaign.

At the other end of the pitch, Diogo Queiros and Diogo Leite form a strong centre-back pairing, making the Portuguese youngsters a well-rounded side.

England Under-21s come into this game with a fairly different squad to the side which cruised through qualifying, as defender James Justin and attacker Mason Greenwood both miss out on the group stage with injuries.

Meanwhile, Jamal Musiala has recently pledged allegiance to Germany, meaning he is no longer available for Boothroyd.

Todd Cantwell was brought into the squad at short notice after Greenwood's injury, but it was Burnley prospect Dwight McNeil who started in the front three last time out.

Liverpool midfielder Curtis Jones will be pushing for a starting spot, after he came off the bench in the first group stage game.

Eddie Nketiah will lead the line for the Young Lions, having recently broken their scoring record.

Portugal Under-21s possible starting lineup:
Costa; Correia, Leite, Queiros, Dalot; Fernandes, Luis, Ferreira; Trincao, Tomas, Goncalves

England Under-21s possible starting lineup:
Ramsdale; Aarons, Godfrey, Guehi, Kelly; Skipp, Davies, Smith Rowe; Hudson-Odoi, Nketiah, Cantwell


SM words green background

We say: Portugal Under-21s 1-1 England Under-21s

Despite a crop of exciting young stars, England Under-21s looked fairly uninspiring in their opening game, and we do not see them taking three points of a Portugal side full of talent.

However, with the desperate need for a result, Boothroyd's men should be able to find a point which could just about keep their hopes of qualification alive until the final game against Croatia Under-21s.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data


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England Under-21s boss Aidy Boothroyd pictured in November 2019
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