Swiss Start For England Under 21

Last updated : 23 March 2021 By Three Lions

The group stage of the European U21 Championships begins on Wednesday with 16 teams competing in Hungary and Slovakia during the international break.

Those nations that finish in the top two of their group will be back in the summer for the knockout rounds of a tournament split into two to ease fixture congestion during unprecedented times.

England Badge with Three Lions logo

For England, comfortable in qualifying and with a squad containing plenty of Premier League miles under the clock this season, reaching those final stages is important, especially after taking one just point from three group games in the 2019 tournament

Aidy Boothroyd's side begin their campaign against Switzerland on Thursday afternoon before match-ups with the fancied Portuguese on Sunday and Croatia next Wednesday, all three fixtures taking place in Slovakia.

Mason Greenwood of Manchester United, Arsenal forward Emile Smith Rowe and Callum Hudson-Odoi of Chelsea are among those to have been named in the manager's squad.

"I'm excited by this group," said Boothroyd.

"Not just in their ability but also their togetherness and team spirit - and I know they will do everything they can to make the country proud."