European U21 final preview
England Under 21s go in search of European Championship glory against Germany in Malmo.
Last Updated: 29/06/09 11:16pm
England Under 21s will aim to win the European Championship for the first time since 1984 when they tackle Germany in Malmo on Monday evening, in a match which can be seen live on Sky Sports 1 and HD1.
Stuart Pearce's youngsters bowed out of the 2007 tournament at the semi-final stage, losing an epic penalty shoot-out to Holland.
There seemed no danger of a repeat when England opened up a 3-0 lead against Sweden in the last four on Friday, but the hosts fought back to force extra-time and eventually spot-kicks.
England held their nerve and will now be looking to take the next step, with Pearce insisting he will regard the campaign as a failure if Germany emerge triumphant.
Pearce will take confidence from the 1-1 draw with Germany in the group phase a week ago, when he made several changes to his side after already securing progression to the semi-finals with victories over Finland and Spain.
The former Manchester City boss, tipped to one day replace Fabio Capello in the senior setup, will once again have to tinker with his team to cover for a number of suspensions.
Goalkeeper Joe Hart, who saved and then scored a penalty against Sweden, and forward Gabriel Agbonlahor are both out after picking up their second yellow cards of the competition.
Fraizer Campbell, a substitute in the semi-final, is also banned following his sending off for two bookable offences.
Joe Lewis and Scott Loach are vying for the gloves in Hart's absence but Pearce refused to confirm which would play during his press conference on the eve of the match, saying only that he had made a decision between the goalkeepers who played a half each against Germany.
Arsenal's Theo Walcott is expected to move into a more central striking role and Adam Johnson could come in to support him in a 4-3-3 formation, with James Milner down the right.
The rest of the line-up may be unchanged, with midfielders Fabrice Muamba, Mark Noble and Lee Cattermole playing in front of a back four containing Martin Cranie, Nedum Onuoha, Micah Richards and Kieran Gibbs.
Germany have denied England at senior level several times over the years and Pearce's counterpart Horst Hrubesch is 'convinced' his men will prevail.
Hrubesch does not think last Monday's meeting will have any bearing on the final, adding: "England had some advantage over us at set-pieces, but I don't think that will have any influence."
As well as drawing with England in their final group game, Germany were held 0-0 by Spain and beat Finland 2-0, before overcoming Group A winners Italy 1-0 in the semi-finals.
Sandro Wagner is likely to replace the suspended Ashkan Dejagah, while captain Sami Khedira should return from injury.
Marko Marin could be doubtful after an ankle problem kept him out of training on Sunday.