Pearce confident of Zaha fitness ahead of England Under-21s' Euros opener

Despite missing Monday’s training session with an ankle injury, the Manchester United-bound forward is expected to feature against Italy on Wednesday in Tel-Aviv
England Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce is confident Wilfried Zaha can shake off an ankle knock in time for Wednesday's opening European Championship clash against Italy.

The 20-year-old has become one of the stars of the young Lions side after helping Crystal Palace win promotion to the Premier League thanks to a man-of-the-match performance in the Championship play-off final.

Zaha, though, was forced to sit out most of Monday’s training session, but Pearce is certain the Manchester United-bound youngster will play a part in Tel-Aviv.

"He shouldn't be a doubt," Pearce told reporters. "We'll have another look at him but we shouldn't have a problem."

Zaha was Sir Alex Ferguson’s last signing for United before calling an end to his 26-year tenure at Old Trafford, and Pearce will be hoping he can continue his Palace form on the international stage.

Pearce added: "He's on top form as you would expect after his contribution to the whole season for Palace and getting a move to Manchester United, and on top of that winning the play-offs.

"He's been outstanding and he's left the club back in the Premier League so he'll be a cult hero with Palace for what he's achieved for them.

"There are no other knocks, other than little maintenance issues."

England and Italy are in Group A, along with Norway and hosts Israel. The two-week long tournament finishes on June 18.