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Europe, News, Under 21s

Walsall To Host England Under 21 Fixture In Preparation For Euro Finals

Pearce recalled England's last outing against Sweden as a great advert for this level of football.

Pearce recalled England’s last outing against Sweden as a great advert for this level of football.

Walsall’s Banks’s Stadium will host England Under 21s as they host Sweden Under 21s in their first fixture of 2013 on February 5th.

In The Football Association’s 150th anniversary year, Stuart Pearce’s men will play the friendly in preparation for the summer’s European Championship in Israel.

Pearce’s men won all six games last year without conceding a goal to secure their place in Israel.

“2012 was a good year for us,” Pearce told The FA’s official website. “Defensively we were very strong not conceding a goal, while we created a lot of chances.

“The squad evolved too, so we saw a lot of players during the year illustrating the depth we have.

“We hope the game in Walsall will give us the chance to start this year where we left off in November as we build towards Israel.”

The last time the two sides met was in the 2009 finals when they contested a thrilling encounter in which the Swedes came from three goals down to take the tie to penalties. Pearce’s men took the tie to penalties to reach the Final.

“It was a great game, an excellent advert for Under-21s football,” he said.

“It had a bit of everything and went right the way to penalties. It was a really exciting night, but thankfully we went through.

“The tournament in Sweden was an fantastic experience for all involved,” added Pearce.

“We have a great relationship with the Swedes and we’re all really looking forward to the game as we build for the summer.

“I expect Sweden will come with a younger side, and for us we’ll probably have one or two players who have done extremely well over the winter period.

“We need to start the year well and take a solid run of form forward as we build for June and beyond.”

The match will be screened live on ESPN.

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About Tom Bennett

I'm a 21-year-old Multimedia Journalism student at Bournemouth University aspiring to be one of Britain's top sports journalists. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for contact and further information.

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