England Under-21 - Norway Under-21 Preview: Pearce's men in need of points after Italy defeat
Wilfried Zaha is set to start after overcoming an ankle problem as the Young Lions look to claim their first group-stage victory after losing to Devis Mangia's side on Wednesday
By Chris Davie
Clyne, Dawson, Caulker, Rose
Redmond, Henderson, Shelvey, Ince
Elabdellaoul, Berge, Strandberg, Linnes
Elkrem, Johansen, Konradsen
Lanlay, Pedersen, Berget
Stuart Pearce will be able to call upon Danny Rose and Thomas Ince after the pair missed England's 1-0 defeat against Italy on Wednesday evening due to suspension.
Wilfried Zaha is expected to be fit for after an ankle problem kept the winger on the bench for England's opening fixture.
Nathan Redmond impressed on the right flank for England and could retain his place.
Norway's first-choice left-back Vegar Hedenstad is suspended after being sent off against Israel in the 2-2 draw on Wednesday evening. Martin Linnes is likely to deputise.
Markus Henriksen, Valon Berisha, Havard Nordtveit and Joshua King will travel to Israel on Friday straight after the senior side's World Cup qualifier against Albania.
Harmeet Singh will be pushing for a starting place after netting Norway's late equaliser against the tournament hosts.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- England came up against Norway in their qualifying group and secured a 1-0 win at home and a 2-1 win away. The Young Lions are 7/1 with Bet365 to emerge 2-1 victors on this occasion.
- Jason Lowe (pictured right) is England's most accurate passer in the tournament with a completion rate of 93 per cent.
- Against Italy on Wednesday, England enjoyed just 39 per cent of the possession.
- After drawing 1-1 against eventual winners Spain in their opening fixture at Euro 2011, England failed to win a game and were dumped out at the group stage.
- Norway have featured in only one other European Under-21 Championship to date, which was in Romania in 1998.
- Norway striker Marcus Pedersen has had four shots on target in the tournament. More than other other player in the competition so far.
- The Norwegian players are only allowed to spend 60 minutes in the sun per day to avoid the risk of heat exposure.
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Top 3 Predictions
England Under 21 2-0 Norway Under 21
- 16.7 %
England Under 21 2-1 Norway Under 21
- 16.7 %
England Under 21 3-1 Norway Under 21
- 12.53 %
|UEFA European U-21 Championship (EU21)||8 Jun 2013||England Under 21 1 - Norway Under 21 3|
|UEFA European U-21 Championship (EU21)||10 Sep 2012||England Under 21 1 - Norway Under 21 0|
|UEFA European U-21 Championship (EU21)||10 Oct 2011||Norway Under 21 1 - England Under 21 2|
|England Under 21|
|5 Mar 2014||England Under 21 1 - Wales U21 0||EU21|
|19 Nov 2013||England Under 21 9 - San Marino Under 21 0||EU21|
|14 Nov 2013||England Under 21 3 - Finland Under 21 0||EU21|
|15 Oct 2013||England Under 21 5 - Lithuania U21 0||EU21|
|10 Oct 2013||San Marino Under 21 0 - England Under 21 4||EU21|
|-||Ken Remi Stefan Strandberg||Defender|
|-||Fredrik Semb Berge||Defender|
|-||Jo Inge Berget||Striker|
|-||Stefan Marius Johansen||Striker|
|16||Yann-Erik de Lanlay||Striker|
The winger is expected to shake off an ankle injury and inject some much-needed zest into England's attacking play against Norway. Other than Nathan Redmond looking bright in spells, Stuart Pearce's side looked extremely short of ideas in attack against Italy and it will be a priority issue for the team to address. Zaha could be the key, though, as the Manchester United forward will undoubtedly bring pace and guile on the flank, which should allow more chances to open up for Connor Wickham, who was starved of service in the first group fixture.
The forward looked bright in Norway's opening 2-2 draw against Israel on Wednesday evening and he should pose a threat to England. Pedersen showed an impressive blend of balance, strength and composure in the box to net Norway's first-half equaliser against the tournament hosts and his movement close to goal will need to be closely monitored by Steven Caulker and Craig Dawson.
England displayed admirable work rate against Italy in their opening defeat but Stuart Pearce's side ultimately lacked the quality in the final third to cause any problems. With Wilfried Zaha, Thomas Ince and Danny Rose all likely to feature, this should give England the pace they need to break forward quickly. Tor Ole Skullerud's men looked nervous at the back against Israel and with England beating Norway both home and away in the qualification stage, Pearce's men should be confident that they can finally get their campaign up and running.