A guide to the European Under-21 Championships


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The 2009 Uefa European Under-21 Championship in Sweden gets underway today with eight teams hoping to be crowned champions of Europe.

The host nation who qualified automatically will be joined by England, Spain, Italy, Germany, Serbia, Finland and Belarus.

The Netherlands, champions of the previous tournaments in 2006 and 2007, failed to qualify therefore a new champion will claim the trophy this summer. The absence of Jong Oranje does not make it any easier for England as they are set to face Spain, Germany and Finland in Group B, while Group A is made up of Italy, Serbia, Sweden and Belarus.

With the domestic season over this will be a chance to watch some competitive football, while, as this tournament has proved in the past, a chance to see the stars of the future.