England draw Serbia in 2013 UEFA European Under 21 Championship play-off
Last Updated: September 14, 2012 5:59pm
England will play Serbia in next month's qualifying play-offs for the 2013 UEFA European Under 21 Championship.
The two-legged play-offs will be held between October 12-16 with the winners progressing through to next summer's finals in Israel.
England, who beat Norway 1-0 on Monday to finish top of Group Eight and ensure they were seeded for the draw in Nyon, will play the first leg against Serbia at home.
Serbia were unseeded despite finishing top of Group Four with five wins and three draws from their eight matches, which included two victories over Northern Ireland.
England are the only team to have qualified for the previous three finals but coach Stuart Pearce knows his side face a difficult test after being drawn against Serbia.
He said: "It's a difficult tie for us, no doubt, but when you are down to the last 14 in Europe you know you are not going to get an easy draw.
"People would have looked at the draw and hoped for a runner-up, but the runners-up all made it to the finals last time, which shows the strength of the competition.
"There are a lot of factors to consider, playing at home first, and travelling to Serbia, who are group winners.
"Whatever is said we will have to be at our best to make it to the finals. However, I'm sure anyone looking at Bowl A would not have wanted to see England come out of the hat either."
He added: "It's a real tough draw. They are an emerging side, and I spoke to Savo Milosevic about them and they, like us, have had a number of players move up to their senior team.
"This will be great experience for our players and the team that performs best, takes their chances and keeps 11 players on the pitch will go to Israel."
Full draw (teams listed first at home in first leg):
Spain v Denmark
Italy v Sweden
Czech Republic v Russia
Slovakia v Holland
Germany v Switzerland
England v Serbia
France v Norway
The seven winners will join hosts Israel in the finals, which will be played from June 5-18 next year.