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The Young Lions can go all the way, the Villa man feels...

Craig Gardner is optimistically looking forward to the European Under-21 Championships in Sweden, that begin for him and his England team-mates today against Finland in Malmo.

The Aston Villa defender feels that Stuart Pearce's squad is in good shape to win the competition, with many of the personnel who fell at the semi-final stage last time out also involved this time. Two years ago, the Englishmen fell to the Netherlands in an incredible penalty shoot-out that ended 13-12.

Gardner is exuding confidence this time around though, with The Birmingham Mail reporting him as saying, "We can win it. The boys’ confidence is sky high at the moment. We are on fire."

With stars such as Theo Walcott in the squad, perhaps Gardner's confidence is well-justified, as many of the other players possess considerable Premier League experience such as Micah Richards and Kieran Gibbs.

Zack Wilson, Goal.com

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