European Under-21 Championship

Spain U21s start with Russia test

December 18, 2012
By ESPN staff

Spain Under-21s will begin the defence of their European title with a meeting against Russia at next summer's Championship.

Spain Under-21 U21 European Championship celeb trophy
PA PhotosSpain Under-21s celebrae lifting the 2011 European Championship

The last three champions of the competition, Spain, Germany and Netherlands, are alongside Russia in Group B.

England Under-21s, meanwhile, will face Italy in Group A in the opening match of the competition in Israel.

Stuart Pearce's side have been grouped with the Italians, Norway and host nation Israel in the eight-team tournament.

The Azzurri, coached by Devis Mangia, will be the first test in Group A as England's tournament begins at the Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv on June 5.

The top two teams from each group progress to the semi-finals where they will bid to reach the final at the Teddy Stadium on June 18.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.