With no World Cup or Euros this summer, there’s not a lot of major international football to focus on from a Liverpool point of view, and Philippe Coutinho’s injury with Brazil has taken the club’s one connection to the 2015 Copa America out of the equation for at least the time being.
The 2015 European U21 Championships, though, offer a surprisingly robust set of viewing options for Liverpool fans. There’s Emre Can, of course who is expected to captain a German U21 side who are solid favourites in Group A and who many consider co-favourites alongside England to win the entire tournament.
Then there’s England. With Raheem Sterling not taking part and Jordon Ibe busy with the U20s, it looked as though there wouldn’t be a Liverpool connection. At least until Danny Ings agreed his deal to move to Anfield on July 1st. Now, England’s U21s are suddenly a very interesting proposition for Liverpool fans.
Not only are they tournament favourites and expected to play more appealing football than their senior counterparts, but there’s now the chance to take a very close look at Ings. Doubts about him are running high amongst Reds fans, and a solid showing here could go a long way to improving the mood of many.
Last but not least, Tiago Ilori is expected to start for Portugal. They’re third favourites at best in Group B—solidly behind both England and Italy—but as with Ings, a strong tournament for Ilori could go a long way towards setting expectations for him at Liverpool in the coming season.
The U21 Euros are a short tournament, with all countries playing one game against each opponent in their group and the top two from each group advancing to a semi-final.
Group A: Czech Republic (host), Denmark, Germany, Serbia
Group B: England, Italy, Portugal, Sweden
Wednesday, June 17 vs. Serbia @7:45PM GMT/2:45PM EST
Saturday, June 20 vs. Denmark @7:45PM GMT/2:45PM EST
Tuesday, June 23 vs. Czech Republic @7:45PM GMT/2:45PM EST
Thursday, June 18 vs. Portugal @7:45PM GMT/2:45PM EST
Sunday, June 21 vs. Sweden @5PM GMT/12PM EST
Wednesday, June 24 vs. Italy @7:45PM GMT/2:45PM EST
Thursday, June 18 vs. England @7:45PM GMT/2:45PM EST
Sunday, June 21 vs. Italy @7:45PM GMT/2:45PM EST
Wednesday, June 24 vs. Sweden @7:45PM GMT/2:45PM EST
All of England and Germany's matches will be televised on BT Sport 1 in the UK and ESPN 3 in the United States. Full television listings for all the European U21 Championship matches can be found on LiveSoccerTV.
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