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England U21 v Austria U21 live from Amex Stadium

LIVE: England U21 v Austria… follow all the action from the Amex Stadium

By
Charlie Skillen

PUBLISHED:

19:15 GMT, 25 March 2013

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UPDATED:

19:44 GMT, 25 March 2013

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of England U21's clash with Austria at Brighton's Amex Stadium, with kick-off at 7.45.

Having wrapped up a record eighth win on the bounce – every one a clean sheet – with a comfortable 3-0 win over Romania on Thursday night, Stuart Pearce's men are going for cloud nine tonight.

It's the final chance for England's young lions to impress in a bid to make this summer's European championships in Israel.

Join the debate by Tweeting @charlieskillen or you can email me your views at [email protected]

19:43 …and here's God Save the Queen.

19:41 Kick-off is in about five minutes, we're just hearing the Austrian national anthem…

19:39 Stuart Pearce just spoke to ESPN before the game about the side's lead-up to the match and the make-up of tonight's team:

'We've had a brilliant week,' said Pearce.

'After Thursday, the way the players have been in training has been outstanding.

'We need to top off the week with a good result and a good performance here.'

On not selecting usual captain Jordan Henderson for tonight's starting line-up:

'I know what Jordan can do. He's an outstanding player and leader of men at this level and I'm not sure how much I would learn from playing him here.

'It was more important to keep Nathaniel Chalobah in the side after what he did on Thursday.'

That seems like Henderson is a certainty to be part of a growing Liverpool contingent in Pearce's squad.

19:26 And let's not forget – victory here will be Stuart Pearce's side's ninth on the spin. Friday's triumph over Romania sealed a record eighth win, and the young Lions have achieved that without conceding a single goal. More of the same tonight, please…

19:25 The action for England U21s this summer in Israel kicks off on June 5 when they face Italy, before playing Norway on June 8 and facing the hosts June 11. Performances in this game will be key to making up the squad that travels to the tournament.

19:18 So Wilfried Zaha is not in the squad tonight – but he's a dead cert for the European Championships squad. He's returned to Crystal Palace for dental work. This gives a chance for the more borderline players to make an impact before Stuart Pearce names his squad for the summer tournament in Israel.

19.15 Evening everyone, and welcome to Sportsmail's live coverage of England U21s clash with Austria.

Kick-off is in about half an hour, but let's start with tonight's line-up:

England Jason Steele, Andre Wisdom, Danny Rose, Jason Lowe, Tom Lees, Craig Dawson (capt), Andros Townsend, Nathaniel Chalobah, Connor Wickham, Jonjo Shelvey, Raheem Sterling.

Subs Adam Smith, Jack Butland, Jack Robinson, Nathaniel Clyne, Michael Keane, Jordan Henderson, Josh McEachran, Nathan Delfouneso, Marvin Sordell, Tom Carroll.

Romania Richard Strebinger, Florian Neuhold, Kevin Wimmer, Tobias Kainz, Michael Sabitzer, Raphael Holzhauser (capt) Robert Zulj, Patrick Farkas, Simon Piesinger, Lukas Spendlhofer

Subs Christoph Riegler, Christian Schilling, Martin Ziegl, Daniel Offenbacher, Michael Grogoritsch, Mattias Maak, Dominik Starkl.

Young gun: Nathaniel Chalobah is making his second start for the U21s

Young gun: Nathaniel Chalobah is making his second start for the U21s

Christian Benteke: I love Arsenal and thought Aston Villa were based in London

After admitting he thought Aston Villa were in London, Benteke declares his love for Arsenal

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UPDATED:

08:25 GMT, 16 November 2012

Christian Benteke has declared his love for Arsenal and revealed he thought Aston Villa were based in London before he signed for the Midlands club.

The revelations are likely to stun Villa supporters after seeing the Belgian forward swiftly become a fans' favourite since he arrived from Genk in a 7million deal in August.

IInternational duty: Benteke scored in Belgium's midweek defeat in Romania

International duty: Benteke scored in Belgium's midweek defeat in Romania

Benteke, who has scored four goals for Villa and moved ahead of 24m signing Darren Bent in Paul Lambert's pecking order, also cited Gunners legend Thierry Henry as his idol, admitting it would be a dream to play for Arsene Wenger's side.

'Arsenal are the club I love,' Benteke said. 'I like their philosophy of selecting young players and, besides, they had Thierry Henry.

Flying high: Benteke has impressed for Villa after arriving on a 7million deal

Flying high: Benteke has impressed for Villa after arriving on a 7million deal

'For me he is the best player in the world and was my boyhood idol. I'm not afraid of making enemies at Villa by saying I love Arsenal.'

The 21-year-old added: 'When I joined Villa I didn't know where they played. I thought they were a London club!

'One can say worse things. I'm a Villa player for now. They're the right club at the right time.'

Kevin Mirallas sidelined for three weeks with injury

Blow for Everton as Miralles faces three weeks out with hamstring injury

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 13 November 2012

Everton fear that Kevin Mirallas is facing a three-week lay-off with a hamstring problem.

The Belgian forward was forced off during last weekend's 2-1 over Sunderland after pulling up sharply and immediately withdrew from his country's friendly with Romania.

Mirallas has undergone a scan and is out of Saturday's trip to Reading but if the results show a grade two tear, he will be sidelined for the remainder of the month.

We need to talk about Kevin: The Belgian faces three weeks out of action

We need to talk about Kevin: The Belgian faces three weeks out of action

World Cup qualifying round-up: Robin van Persie, Luis Suarez and Edin Dzeko

Van Persie, Suarez and Dzeko all on target as internationals go goal crazy

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UPDATED:

23:04 GMT, 16 October 2012

On a thrilling night of international action Premier League marksmen led the goal rush with Robin van Persie, Edin Dzeko and Luis Suarez all on target.

Holland assumed control of Group D with a thumping 4-1 win of Romania in their top-of-the-table clash in Bucharest.

Romania had not conceded a goal in their opening three wins, but their perfect record was in ruins within the opening 45 minutes as Jeremain Lens, Bruno Martins Indi and Rafael van der Vaart all found the target.

Dutch delight: Robin van Persie capped a dominant Holland performance with the last of four goals

Dutch delight: Robin van Persie capped a dominant Holland performance with the last of four goals

Dutch delight: Robin van Persie capped a dominant Holland performance with the last of four goals

Robin van Persie then completed the rout four minutes from the end with Romania's consolation coming from a fine Ciprian Marica goal when they were 2-0 down.

Three points behind Holland in Group D are Hungary, who went behind to Mevlut Erdinc goal against Turkey but hit back to claim a 3-1 win thanks to efforts from Vladimir Koman, Adam Szalai and a penalty from West Brom's Zoltan Gera.

Elsewhere, Switzerland defeated Iceland 2-0 away from home with second-half goals from Tranquillo Barnetta and Mario Gavranovic and they remain three points clear of Norway at the top of Group E.

Norway trailed to a 42nd-minute Efstathios Aloneftis goal against Cyprus but recovered to win 3-1 with Brede Hangeland (45), Tarik Elyounoussi (81, penalty) and Manchester United's Joshua King (83) on the scoresheet.

Group F leaders Russia continued their 100 per cent start with a 1-0 victory over Azerbaijan, although they needed an 84th-minute Roman Shirokov penalty to claim a fourth win out of four.

City slicker: Edin Dzeko underlined his importance to Bosnia and Herzegovina with a well taken goal

City slicker: Edin Dzeko underlined his importance to Bosnia and Herzegovina with a well taken goal

City slicker: Edin Dzeko underlined his importance to Bosnia and Herzegovina with a well taken goal

In Group G Bosnia-Herzegovina and Greece lead the way with 10 points.

Bosnia-Herzegovina beat Lithuania 3-0 with goals from Vedad Ibisevic, Manchester City striker Dzeko and Miralem Pjanic while Greece ended Slovakia's unbeaten start thanks to a Dimitris Salpingidis goal.

The pick of the games in Europe, though, came from Germany were the hosts threw away a 4-0 lead in the final half an hour against Sweden.

Germany, fresh from their 6-1 thrashing of the Republic of Ireland on Friday, looked set for another big win as a brace from Miroslav Klose and further goals from Per Mertesacker and Mesut Ozil saw the hosts 4-0 up inside an hour.

Thrashed: Luis Suarez's Uruguay were humbled in Bolivia, despite his late strike

Thrashed: Luis Suarez's Uruguay were humbled in Bolivia, despite his late strike

Thrashed: Luis Suarez's Uruguay were humbled in Bolivia, despite his late strike

However, hopes of a fourth successive win in Group C suddenly looked in doubt as Sweden, who had won both their opening qualifiers, pulled three goals back in a 14-minute spell through Zlatan Ibrahimovic (62), Mikael Lustig (64) and Johan Elmander (76).

The home side looked to have weathered that fightback, though, as the game entered injury time with them still holding on to a narrow lead, but in the third minute of added time Sweden stunned their opponents when Rasmus Elm made it 4-4.

And in South America, Suarez hit an 81st-minute consolation as Uruguay were thrashed 4-1 by Bolivia, the hosts' Carlos Saucedo netting a hat-trick to add to Gualberto Mojica's strike.

Croatia 2 Wales 0: Match report – World Cup hopes fade

Croatia 2 Wales 0: Coleman's World Cup hopes fade after defeat in Osijek

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UPDATED:

20:37 GMT, 16 October 2012

Wales fell to their third defeat in four World Cup qualifiers after being overrun by a dominant Croatia side in Osijek.

The Dragons did well to keep their hosts at bay until the 27th minute, when goalkeeper Lewis Price tried to clear a weak Ashley Williams back-pass but was charged down by Mario Mandzukic, who tapped home.

Former Arsenal forward Eduardo then made it 2-0 after the break with a close-range finish.

Gunner get ya: Former Arsenal striker Eduardo was on the scoresheet

Gunner get ya: Former Arsenal striker Eduardo was on the scoresheet

Gunner get ya: Former Arsenal striker Eduardo was on the scoresheet

Match facts

Croatia: Pletikosa, Strinic, Simunic, Lovren (Schildenfeld 45), Srna, Badelj, Perisic, Rakitic, Modric, Mandzukic, Eduardo.

Subs not used: Subasic, Kresic, Vida, Radosevic, Pamic, Jelavic, Kalinic, Vukojevic, Sammir, Corluka.

Booked: Lovren.

Scorers: Mandzukic 27, Eduardo 58.

Wales: Price, Williams, Ben Davies, Gunter, Blake, King (Vokes 72), Vaughan, Bale, Allen, Ledley, Morison (Church 61).

Subs not used: Edwards, Richards, Craig Davies, Robson-Kanu, Wilson, Brown, Fon Williams, Ricketts.

Booked: Gunter.

Attendance: 18,000.

Referee: Alexandru Dan Tudor (Romania)

World Cup Qualifying tables, fixtures and results

It was no less than Croatia deserved from a match in which they were superior throughout.

Wales, meanwhile, after bouncing back
from a 2-0 loss to Belgium and 6-1 thrashing in Serbia in their opening
two Group A fixtures with Friday's morale-boosting 2-1 win over
Scotland, have been very much brought back down to earth and might well
feel grateful they were not beaten by more.

Croatia bossed possession from the
very early exchanges and Ivan Rakitic saw a shot blocked before Eduardo
sent an effort from the edge of the box into the arms of Price, who then
got down to push away a Darijo Srna free-kick.

Wales made their first real foray
forward in the 12th minute as Gareth Bale earned a throw-in he could
only deliver straight to goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa.

The hosts were soon back on the
attack, with Luka Modric bursting into the box and tumbling under a
challenge from Darcy Blake. Croatia supporters cried out for a penalty
but referee Alexandru Dan Tudor waved play on.

Price was being kept busy, saving
further shots from Rakitic and Milan Badelj, although in between Bale
fashioned the visitors' most meaningful effort yet with a strike that
fizzed wide.

Game over Wales have a mountain to climb if they are to qualify for the World Cup in 2014

Game over Wales have a mountain to climb if they are to qualify for the World Cup in 2014

Game over Wales have a mountain to climb if they are to qualify for the World Cup in 2014

The Tottenham winger – who had been
the star of the show on Friday with two late goals – then won a
free-kick in a dangerous position, but when he swung it into the area
Pletikosa came to punch the ball out.

Wales had managed to absorb a
considerable amount of pressure from their opponents, but they shot
themselves in the foot just before the half-hour mark when Price struck
skipper Williams' back-pass – which appeared to have been slowed down by
the poor playing surface – against Mandzukic, who calmly guided it into
the net.

Eduardo then completely miscued an attempted header, while at the other end, another Bale free-kick amounted to nothing.

Can't watch: Manager Chris Coleman finds it difficult to watch as his players were soundly beaten

Can't watch: Manager Chris Coleman finds it difficult to watch as his players were soundly beaten

Can't watch: Manager Chris Coleman finds it difficult to watch as his players were soundly beaten

Croatia kept pressing, with Wales surviving a scramble in the box when Price denied Eduardo.

There was no let up after the break
for the Dragons, with Williams managing to deflect the ball over when
Modric and Eduardo combined two minutes into the second half.

Spurred on: Former Tottenham team-mates Bale and Modric lined-up against each other

Spurred on: Former Tottenham team-mates Bale and Modric lined-up against each other

Spurred on: Former Tottenham team-mates Bale and Modric lined-up against each other

Wales did then muster an effort as
Williams nodded wide from a free-kick, but normal service swiftly
resumed, with Ivan Perisic heading off-target and Price just managing to
keep out Eduardo and Mandzukic.

Eduardo was looking particularly
threatening and he was rewarded with a goal in the 58th minute, on hand
to tap in after Price had parried a header from a corner.

Eduardo then had another shot saved,
before Andy King – in the Wales team for the suspended Aaron Ramsey –
wasted a chance to pull a goal back, seeing Pletikosa save his header.

Long way home: The Wales fans were left disappointed on the night

Long way home: The Wales fans were left disappointed on the night

Long way home: The Wales fans were left disappointed on the night

Another scramble ensued in the Wales
box that somehow did not result in a third Croatia goal before Price
saved a Mandzukic header and Modric drove wide.

Bale beat several men towards the end
and drilled in a low effort that Pletikosa could not hold, but
substitute Sam Vokes blasted the rebound off-target.

Hands on hips: The Wales players look dejected on a night their World Cup hopes were dealt a huge blow

Hands on hips: The Wales players look dejected on a night their World Cup hopes were dealt a huge blow

Roy Hodgson says playing Moldova is like playing Brazil

It's just like playing Brazil! Hodgson warns England not to be 'foolish' against Moldova

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UPDATED:

18:26 GMT, 3 September 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Roy Hodgson has told his players they cannot afford to be complacent as they take on minnows Moldova in Friday's 2014 World Cup qualifier.

Moldova will be most familiar to England's players and fans from the World Cup qualifiers the countries played in 1996.

Those saw the Three Lions rack up easy 3-0 and 4-0 wins but Hodgson was so determined for his players not to take Friday's match lightly that he will order them to imagine they were playing Brazil.

Careful now: Roy Hodgson has warned his charges against complacency

Careful now: Roy Hodgson has warned his charges against complacency

He said: 'I know that outside of our little group who are preparing for the game, there will be a lot of thought that Moldova are not very special, not very strong, but we certainly don't go into the game with that thought at all.

'We go into the game knowing they had a draw and a narrow defeat against Holland in the last qualifying campaign.

'If we are not aware of the fact that this is a major hurdle of the 10 hurdles we have to jump over then we would be very, very foolish.

Hurdle: Hodgson says England will not get an easy ride

Hurdle: Hodgson says England will not get an easy ride

'And, certainly, my message to the
players is that, “I don't care if they are called Moldova. As far as I'm
concerned, they could be called Brazil and we have to produce a
performance to win us the game”.

'And if it turns out that perhaps they are not that good after all then I will be very happy.

'But I'm expecting them to be good and certainly watching the Moldova v Albania game then they know how to play football.'

Get ready: Hodgson instructs Gary Cahill and Frank Lampard

Get ready: Hodgson instructs Gary Cahill and Frank Lampard

That Albania match was Moldova's most recent, a 0-0 friendly draw last month.

Hodgson added: 'They are like a lot of those teams – they are in that area to the side of Romania, close to Georgia and those parts of the old Soviet Union.

'They are technical players, players who are basically unknown outside of eastern Europe.

'Very few, if any of them, play in Moldova – they play in Russia or Ukraine and in quite good teams.

Research: Lampard and Co will watch videos of their opponents

Research: Lampard and Co will watch videos of their opponents

'So they are obviously highly-respected players but, of course, for us they are going to be pretty much unknown and we are doing as much research and as much video-watching as we can to get some sort of handle to what they will be like.

'We have to come to terms with what's the stadium going to be like, what's the atmosphere going to be like, what's the pitch going to be like – and how good are these players and relate that to the players we choose and make sure they go into the game with the best possible preparation.'

London 2012 Olympics: Gemma Gibbons reaches final

Finally some good news in judo as Gibbons beats Tcheumeo to reach final

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UPDATED:

14:01 GMT, 2 August 2012

Britain's Gemma Gibbons charged into the final of the women's under-78kg division after stunning world champion Audrey Tcheumeo of France at ExCeL.

The North Arena 2 crowd was again in full voice as they sensed Britain's first judo Olympic medal since 2000.

Gibbons, 25, only stepped up a weight division this year.

Semi success: Gemma Gibbons (right) is through to the final after beating Gemma Gibbons Audrey Tcheumeo

Semi success: Gemma Gibbons (right) is through to the final after beating Gemma Gibbons Audrey Tcheumeo

However, the University of East
London Masters student thrilled the home crowd as she battled past
Yahima Ramirez of Portugal, Mongolia's Lkhamdegd Purevjargal, the
seventh seed, and then beat Dutchwoman Marhinde Verkerk in her
quarter-final.

Tcheumeo beat Gibbons in the Romania World Cup event in June, and was soon on the offensive.
However, Gibbons held her own, defending the attacks and looking to
counter as the bout headed into the final 90 seconds without score.

Roared on by the home support, the British fighter went forwards, but the contest moved into three minutes of sudden-death judo.

Gibbons, recovered from a shoulder
injury which needed surgery, began to tire, but her opponent also looked
a spent force – and the Briton produced a stunning ippon to claim a
place in the final where she will fight for gold against American Kayla
Harrison, who disposed of top-seeded Brazilian Mayra Aguiar.

Tcheumeo must pick herself up for a clash against Abigel Joo of Hungary for bronze.

London 2012 Olympics: Gold for women rowers Helen Glover and Heather Stanning

At last! Stanning and Glover make history with stunning gold at Eton Dorney

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UPDATED:

11:00 GMT, 1 August 2012

Helen Glover and Heather Stanning have made British history by claiming Team GB's first gold medal of the Olympic Games, and the first of any women rowers ever.

The pair fought off competition from defending champions Romania as well as world champions New Zealand and clinched glory by a stretch.

The duo, who have been unbeaten all year, flew out of the blocks and never relinquished the lead.

At the halfway stage they had clear water between them and the chasing pack and maintained their stunning stroke rate to the end.

Australia claimed silver, while the Kiwis took bronze.

More to follow…

Glory: Helen Glover and Heather Stanning won Team GB's first gold of London 2012

Glory: Helen Glover and Heather Stanning won Team GB's first gold of London 2012

Rangers told Dorin Goian will stay at the club

You have our word! Goian tells Rangers he'll fight to get them back to the SPL

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UPDATED:

09:34 GMT, 13 July 2012

Rangers defender Dorin Goian will remain at the club regardless of which division they are forced to play in next season, according to his agent.

The 31-year-old Romania international moved to Ibrox last summer and, despite the imminent decision of the Scottish Football League clubs that could see newco Rangers enter the Irn-Bru Third Division, his agent, Florin Manea, reckons Goian intends to see out his deal.

'We have given Rangers our word Dorin will remain and honour his contract,' he told the Daily Record.

I'm here for you, boss: Dorin Goian expects to stay at Rangers despite the crisis

I'm here for you, boss: Dorin Goian expects to stay at Rangers despite the crisis

'He promised manager Ally McCoist and owner Charles Green he's staying with the club. We will hold more discussions when we know what league Rangers will play in next season.

'We've communicated to Rangers he wants to stay and help the club get promoted back to the top division.'

Manea also revealed several offers had been received for Goian's services and that he believes Green's Rangers will be parachuted into the First Division.

He said: 'This week we received more offers from clubs. There has even been talk of a Romanian club trying to buy him but that won't happen.

'It would cause chaos if Rangers are relegated to the bottom league – I'm led to believe it's 95 per cent certain they will go into the First Division.'

Roger Federer beats Adrian Unger to break Jimmy Connors" record of 233 grand slam wins

Federer overcomes Unger at Roland Garros to earn record 234th grand slam win

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UPDATED:

14:06 GMT, 30 May 2012

Roger Federer surpassed Jimmy Connors with his 234th victory in grand slam matches, but he certainly did not have things all his own way against Romania's Adrian Ungur at the French Open.

The third seed's first-round victory over Tobias Kamke had seen him draw level with Connors' record, while he also became the first man to win at least 50 matches at all the slams.

Record breaker: Roger Federer broke Jimmy Connors' record at Roland Garros

Record breaker: Roger Federer broke Jimmy Connors' record at Roland Garros

Federer breezed through the first two sets on Wednesday against Ungur, an unheralded 27-year-old ranked 92nd in the world.

But the Swiss let slip two match points in the third before edging the fourth to win 6-3 6-2 6-7 (6/8) 6-3 in two hours and 27 minutes.

Ungur has played only on clay this
year but his victory over David Nalbandian in round one on Monday was
his first this year at main tour level.

Not today: Adrian Unger was unable to stop Federer

Not today: Adrian Unger was unable to stop Federer

Federer
was totally in control until the middle of the third set, when Ungur
suddenly began to trouble the 16-time grand slam champion.

He
had two break points in the sixth game and then two set points at 5-4,
but when Federer saved all of them he seemed to have steadied the ship.

Until next time: Federer is looking to dethrone Rafael Nadal at the French Open

Until next time: Federer is looking to dethrone Rafael Nadal at the French Open

It
certainly looked that way when he moved 6-4 ahead in the tie-break but
a number of skewed shots and a netted backhand gave Ungur a fourth
successive point and the set.

Federer then had to save two break points in the opening game of the fourth set, and this time he took advantage, immediately moving 2-0 ahead and holding onto the break to clinch victory.