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Match Reports

Young internationals report for duty

8 November 2016

Swift, Meite, Southwood, Sheppard and Jules ready for action

After another starring performance at the DW Stadium on Saturday, John Swift will be pulling on the England shirt this week when England Under-21s take on Italy at Southampton's St Mary's Stadium.

The first of the two friendly fixtures kicks off on Thursday 10th November at 7.45pm, before Swift and the squad head out to Paris to face France at Stade Robert Bobin for a game on Monday 14th November, kick-off 7.45pm.

Swift scored a simply outstanding goal in a rout againt Bosnia & Herzegovina last month, so he will be hoping to repeat the feat against the Azzurinis or Les Bleuets this week.

Celebrations were cut short for Yakou Meite at the weekend, when nhis injury time volley rippled the back of the Wigan net only for the offside flag to rule it out.

Howerver, Meite will have been delighted to return to first team action after injury and he will hope to get some minutes under his belt with Les Petit Elephants this week when the Ivory Coast's Under-23s take on France on Thursday 10th November.

The friendly will be played in Beauvais ahead of a game between the two nations' first teams in Lens next week. And Meite will hope to impress in a squad that includes players from Inter Milan, Monaco, Anderlecht and Toulouse.

Two players who won't play a part in tomorrow night's Checkatrade Trophy game are Zak Jules and Jake Sheppard who have headed to Slovakia with Scotland's Under-21s.

The Royals duo will take on their hosts in Myjava on Wednesday 9th November in an attempt to return to winning wats after their qualifying campaign for the 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship ended in disappointment.

And as a result, Scot Gemmill has picked a very young squad to face a Slovakia side who will be older and more experienced as they gear up for next summer’s Euros in Poland. Kick-off in Slovakia is 3.30pm GMT.

Young keeper Luke Southwood is in action for England this week as part of an Under-20 squad who have headed out to South Korea to take part in the Continental Cup in the forthcoming international break.

Paul Williams’ side will face Nigeria, Iran and the host nation in a four-nation round robin tournament – and it acts as a precursor for the Under-20 World Cup next summer, which is also held in South Korea.

Southwood played a match and a half for England’s Under-20s in their recent four-nation triumph – he didn’t need to make a single trip to his net during his time on the pitch, as they beat Netherlands, Germany and USA on home turf.

And he will be hoping for more game time when the first of the cup games kicks off at 8am GMT against Nigeria at the Suwon World Cup Stadium on Wednesday 9th November. The Young Lions meet the hosts 24 hours later, and then they conclude the tournament when they meet Iran on Saturday morning.

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