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Liverpool Matchup Awaits in First Round of Euro U21 Group Play

Organized, meaningful football kicks off tomorrow in Israel, where an England U21 side captained by Jordan Henderson will face off with Italy and forward Fabio Borini.

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Ian Walton

There's little substitute for the swanky, big money international competitions over the summer, but with a crowded month of June set to kick off in earnest tomorrow, we'll at least have the chance to watch regular football being played at a fairly high level. It all starts with the Euro U21 tournament, which, from a Liverpool perspective, will likely offer the chance to watch no less than three or four of the younger squad members get regular minutes, including tomorrow's England match with Italy that could see teammates facing off against one another.

Fabio Borini's callup last week means that he could find himself lining up against an England side that'll be captained by midfielder Jordan Henderson, and could also involve Jonjo Shelvey, Andre Wisdom and Jack Robinson. Henderson's well aware of the threat Borini possesses, and made a point to pick out his Liverpool teammate as one to watch ahead of tomorrow's match.

"Training went well and hopefully we can carry on for the game on Wednesday. We're very confident and positive going into the game, we're looking forward to it and we just need to do like we have done in the last couple of years from the start and I'm sure we'll be alright."

"(Borini)'s a very good player; he's got very good movement. He's great at finishing so we need to be tight to him and stop his shots."

I'm far more familiar with the U21 England setup--and almost sort of like them, which makes me feel uncomfortable--than the Italy squad, so I don't have much of an idea if Borini can expect to start. It's a safe bet that Henderson and Shelvey will, though, as they were regulars during qualifying and turned in some excellent displays during the squad's last few friendlies before the Euros.

Aside from the typical worries about fitness and injury, it's relatively low-stress stuff, and whoever ends up playing, it'll be a welcomed sight just to see someone connected to Liverpool playing meaningful football. We'll have listings for viewing and kickoff times early in the day tomorrow, and try to do something for the matches including Liverpool players throughout the tournament. Because this is not a transfer rumor, that's unquestionably a good thing.

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