England vs. Italy: Probability that Tottenham Hotspur youngsters start in U-21 opener

Ian Walton

Expect to see some Spurs players on the pitch for Stuart Pearce.

The European Under-21 Championships get underway on Wednesday, and three Tottenham Hotspur players will be in action for England. There were supposed to be four Spurs players in Stuart Pearce's side, but then Andros Townsend had to go get himself involved in a betting scandal. Whoopsies!

England have a lot of solid central players and are very light on good center forwards, so expect them to play some variation of 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1. All three of Tottenham's players are defenders, though one of those can play as a left winger as well. We like their chances to play a part.

Steven Caulker - The only stone cold lock to start. It would be utterly stunning if Stuart Pearce didn't play him alongside Craig Dawson in the center of the England defense. He's much more experienced than Tom Lees and Andre Wisdom has played more right back than center back in his Liverpool career. He's been capped for the senior England team and, given the injuries to senior England players, probably would have been called in again if he wasn't a key player in Pearce's side.

Danny Rose - He has the most caps of any U-21 player in the squad and he's the seventh-most capped U-21 player of all time, so one would assume he'll start. Only Jordan Henderson approaches his level of experience. Liverpool's Jack Robinson is definitely a competitor for a starting spot, but we expect Rose to get the nod.

Adam Smith - Definitely not outside the realm of possibility, but my guess is that Wisdom will get the start over him. Smith did play in considerably more games this season, however, and previously started for England at the Under-20 World Cup. While I expect to see Wisdom start the match, this is a toss-up.

In any event, we're all likely to have plenty of reasons to watch Wednesday's game.

Not a member? Join Cartilage Free Captain and start commenting | Follow @CartilageFree on Twitter | Like Cartilage Free Captain on Facebook | Subscribe to our RSS feed

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Cartilage Free Captain

You must be a member of Cartilage Free Captain to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Cartilage Free Captain. You should read them.

Join Cartilage Free Captain

You must be a member of Cartilage Free Captain to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Cartilage Free Captain. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker