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World Cup Group D

Pearce braced for tough draw

Stuart Pearce says there can be no kind draw for England when they learn their group opponents on Wednesday for next summer's European U21 Championship.

Last Updated: 27/11/12 at 19:00 Post Comment

Stuart Pearce: No chance of easy group for England U21

Stuart Pearce: No chance of easy group for England U21

With almost every heavyweight nation from Europe in the hat for the eight-team tournament in Israel, Pearce knows the calibre of opposition is going to be tough.

England will at least avoid Holland by virtue of both teams being seeded second but one of defending champions Spain or hosts Israel will definitely be in the same group.

Germany and Italy are also potential opponents while Russia and Norway, who were in England's qualifying group, are the other teams in the draw.

Head coach Pearce said: "This is our fourth draw and it is possibly the first time we have thought to ourselves that whoever we get is going to be really, really difficult to beat.

"We have said similar in the past, but always knowing there are certain teams we'd have liked to have been seeded with.

"This time, everyone knows there are some real top nations here, with good qualification records.

"The only surprise to some - although not to us - would be Norway. We played them in our group and we know how good they are.

"Apart from France, who had a fantastic qualification record, everyone who is considered a strong European nation is here to compete in this."

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