Today on LiveScore: Young Lions start Euro tilt as World Cup qualifiers roll on
All eyes will be on England today with both Gareth Southgate's senior side and the Under-21s in action.
Southgate’s troops welcome minnows San Marino to Wembley for a World Cup qualifer tonight, while Aidy Boothroyd’s Young Lions face their first group game in the European Under-21 Championship against Switzerland this afternoon.
Elsewhere on the road to Qatar, Scotland host Austria and Northern Ireland have a daunting challenge on their hands in Italy.
England U-21s vs Switzerland U-21s (Group D, 2pm)
Summer has yet to arrive but football fans can get an early taste of tournament action over the coming week as the European Under-21 Championship kicks off.
The competition’s group stage is being played during this international window so that the knockout phase can finish in early June — prior to the senior showpiece later that month.
Led by former Watford boss Boothroyd, England have been handed a tough draw with tricky tests against Switzerland, Portugal and Croatia to come over the next seven days.
Ahead of their opening contest against the Swiss, we take a closer look at in-demand Norwich full-back Max Aarons, who is expected to enhance his growing reputation during the tournament.
England vs San Marino (Group I, 7.45pm)
International qualifiers are well known for throwing up a few mismatches — and England’s meeting with San Marino appears set to be a seismic one.
Although the result may prove somewhat predictable, the contest itself presents an opportunity for players to force their way into Southgate’s first-choice XI ahead of Euro 2020.
The likes of Jude Bellingham, Ollie Watkins and Kalvin Phillips will all be hoping to make an impression against the minnows if given the chance to shine.
Scotland vs Austria (Group F, 7.45pm)
After successfully qualifying for a first European Championship finals in 25 years last November, Scotland will now look to repeat the trick and make the 2022 World Cup.
Steve Clarke’s men have been drawn in a relatively open group and know a home victory over Austria in their first game would immediately put them in a strong position.
As the Scots look to play their way back into form after ending 2020 with back-to-back defeats, Clarke will need his key figures to lead from the front.
And we turn the spotlight on one of them, Manchester United star Scott McTominay, in an in-depth profile piece.
Italy vs Northern Ireland (7.45pm, Group C)
While England and Scotland have home comforts to help their cause, Ian Baraclough takes his Northern Ireland side to Italy as huge underdogs.
Under the tutelage of former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini, the Azzurri are unbeaten in 22 outings — a remarkable run stretching back to October 2018.
At the heart of the Italian revival has been a typically imperious defensive record, with 15 clean sheets in that unbeaten streak clearly showing they are one of the world’s toughest sides to breach.
Ahead of that game, we run the rule over Italy keeper Gigi Donnarumma and explore why Chelsea and a host of other clubs have been linked with the AC Milan man.
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