| 6.9°C Belfast

Boothroyd keen to see his England Under-21s tested by the best

.

England Under-21s will discover their Euro 2019 fate in Italy on Friday with boss Aidy Boothroyd keen for his Young Lions to be the talk of the town.

The draw takes place in Bologna ahead of next year’s tournament in Italy and San Marino.

England, who beat Denmark 5-1 on Tuesday, are one of the favourites having qualified unbeaten after losing on penalties to Germany in the Euro 2017 semi-finals.

They are one of the top seeds with hosts Italy and defending champions Germany and head coach Boothroyd is eager for their rivals to be wary of his young team.

“We went close last time but this time – as long as everything falls in to place – the opposition will talk about us more than we are of them,” he said.

“There are some big hitters, the Italians are hosting, the Spanish are there, the Germans are there, France, we’re there.

“It’s going to be tough but that’s what we want. You want to be challenged by the best and want to beat the best.”

Boothroyd will speak with senior boss Gareth Southgate about the divide of players next year with the Nations League finals being played a week before the start of Euro 2019.

Ben Chilwell and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have featured for the senior side this season while Mason Mount and James Maddison have been called up and Jadon Sancho bypassed the Under-21s completely.

Boothroyd added: “We have a long list of 33 players who we track and keep an eye on. With the quality we have, we are going to have to go a bit bigger than that to make sure we see everyone.

“You will always get injuries and players who don’t make it for other reasons.

“Hopefully we can pick our strongest squad. We have to have the conversation about the players who have moved up, but that will come nearer the time.”

PA