England get their European Under-21 Championship up and running this evening as they face the Czech Republic in Batumi. Lee Carsley’s side look to get off to a winning start in Group C, before attention turns to to clashes with Israel and defending champions Germany.
It has not been an ideal preparation for England, with a friendly defeat behind closed doors to Japan earlier this month. That came after they were beaten by Croatia at Craven Cottage in March, and it leaves the Young Lions a little short of confidence coming into their tournament opener.
Levi Colwill is set to start for England, with the Chelsea defender fresh off training with the senior squad, with Emile Smith Rowe expected to feature alongside Harvey Elliott in forward areas and Oliver Skipp likely to start in midfield. Follow Czech Republic vs England with Standard Sport’s LIVE blog below!
Standard Sport prediction
England go into the match as favourites, despite their patchy form, and should be good enough to get off to a winning start.
There is plenty of attacking talent in this Young Lions side, but it could be a relatively tight and cagey affair.
England to win, 2-1.
England team news
Emile Smith Rowe is set to start for England this evening.
He is the only player in England’s 23-man squad who has won caps at senior level, playing three times and scoring once for Gareth Southgate’s side since his debut in November 2021.
Captain Levi Colwill, the Chelsea centre-back, is expected to start, having arrived in Georgia later than the rest of the squad as he joined the England seniors for their Euro 2024 qualifying wins over Malta and North Macedonia.
Aston Villa’s Cameron Archer is set to lead the line. He is the only out-and-out centre forward in the squad, after Arsenal’s Folarin Balogun changed his international allegiance from England to the United States.
Predicted England XI (4-2-3-1):Trafford; Aarons, Colwill, Harwood-Bellis, Thomas; Ramsey, Skipp, Gibbs-White, Elliott, Smith Rowe; Archer
How to watch Czech Republic vs England
TV channel and live stream: The game will be shown live on UEFA’s website.
Live blog: You can follow all the action right here with us!
Hello and welcome to Standard Sport’s live coverage of Czech Republic vs England at the European Under-21 Championship!
Lee Carsley’s Young Lions get their Group C campaign up and running this afternoon, with matches against Israel and defending champions Germany to come.
We’ll have all the latest updates, build-up and team news ahead of kick-off, which comes at 5pm BST from the Adjarabet Arena.