2022 European Under-19 Championship: Draw, schedule and players to watch for the BBC-televised event

·4-min read

Slovakia will play host to the 19th edition of the event, with the top five teams earning automatic qualification for the 2023 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Indonesia.

Only players born on or after January 1, 2003, will be eligible as the eight qualified teams battle for European supremacy.

England will be one of the participating nations after enjoying an unbeaten qualifying campaign. Former champions Italy, France and Serbia will also feature in the group stage.

The last two scheduled European Championships in this age category were both scrapped due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Here we look at everything you need to know ahead of the tournament's renewal.

Who is in the group stage?

England U19's head coach Ian Foster during the 2022 UEFA European Under-19 Championship Qualifying group 4 match
England U19's head coach Ian Foster during the 2022 UEFA European Under-19 Championship Qualifying group 4 match

The eight teams competing at the event will be separated into two group of four, with Group A featuring hosts Slovakia, Romania, Italy and France.

Slovakia's last and only appearance in the tournament was back in 2002 as they sealed a third-placed finish with a win over the Republic of Ireland. Romania are also making their second appearance, having participated in the group stage of the 2011 event. Italy are the 2003 champions, as well as the 2008, 2016 and 2018 runners-up. With a host of future Serie A talents in their squad, Carmine Nunziata's side will be looking to challenge for silverware. However, one of the major obstacles in their way will be a French team which won the 2005, 2010 and 2016 tournaments.

Group B, on the other hand, will feature England, Israel, Serbia and Austria. The Three Lions are looking to claim their second title after winning the 2017 event in Georgia.

Head coach Ian Foster has an abundance of talent in his squad which includes Manchester City's Callum Doyle and Liam Delap, Liverpool's James Norris and James Balagizi, as well as star potential heir to Harry Kane's throne at Spurs, Dane Scarlett.

Israel, who only lost one game during the qualifying stage, are making their second appearance and shouldn't be easily underestimated. The same goes for Serbia, who return to the competition for the first time since 2014. The side led by Dejan Brankovic will be looking to add to their 2013 title victory. Austria, in contrast, have never won this tournament but have been to the semi-final stage on three previous occasions since 2003.

Group A: Slovakia, Romania, Italy, France

Group B: England, Israel, Serbia, Austria

Schedule

Group stage fixtures will begin on Saturday June 18, and end seven days later on June 25. The top two sides from each group will progress to the semi-finals, which will take place on June 28. The winners will clash in the final on July 1 at the Anton Malatinsky Stadium in Trnava.

Who are the most recent winners?

Spain won the 2019 tournament following a 2-0 victory over Portugal in Armenia.

Former Manchester City and current Barcelona striker Ferran Torres scored both goals as his side lifted their eighth crown at the under-19 age group since 2002.

Spain failed to qualify for the 2022 event, meaning they won't be able to defend their crown.

Venues

The tournament will be played across five different venues in Slovakia.

The hosts will play all their home games at the 19,200 capacity Anton Malatinsky Stadium in Trnava.

That same ground will also host the first semi-final and the final.

The MOL Arena in Dunajska Streda will host the other three games in Group A as well as the second semi-final. Group B fixtures will be contested in Banska Bystrica and Ziar nad Hronom, while the third-placed play-off will be hosted in Senec.

Players to watch

Dane Scarlett of England in action
Dane Scarlett of England in action

If the qualifying campaign is anything to go by, England's Dane Scarlett is without doubt one of the names to keep a close eye on.

The Tottenham youngster was the top scorer during qualifying, having bagged six goals in five appearances.

One man who could give the Spurs man a good run for his money is Italy's Wilfried Gnonto. Despite being just 18-year-old, the player has already amassed 59 first-team appearances for Zurich in the Swiss Super League. What's more, the forward scored five goals in six qualifying games. French midfielder Lucas Gourna-Douath also arrives with plenty of first-team experience under his belt, having already made over 40 appearances for Saint-Etienne in Ligue 1. The same goes for Elye Wahi who has featured prominently for fellow Ligue 1 outfit, Montpellier. With regards to goalkeepers, England's Matthew Cox is the one to watch having conceded just one goal during the qualifiers.

Where to watch

In the UK, it's the BBC who have the broadcasting rights for the 2022 European Under-19 Championship. Viewers in France can follow the action via L'Equipe, while Italian fans can watch the games live on RAI.

The article 2022 European Under-19 Championship: Draw, schedule and players to watch for the BBC-televised event appeared first on Planetsport.com.

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