Hosts Denmark will take on Iceland, Belarus and Switzerland in Group A while Spain, England, Ukraine and the Czech Republic will face each other in Group B after the match schedule for the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship finals was confirmed following Tuesday's draw in Aalborg.
Having reached at least the last four in the past two editions, England will be hard-pressed to extend that run. They will meet 2002 winners Czech Republic and 2006 runners-up Ukraine in Group B, which will also feature a rematch against a Spain side they beat two years ago en route to the final.
Hosts Denmark will meet competition debutants Iceland and a Switzerland side returning to the finals for the first time since 2004. Belarus, one of only three survivors from the 2009 finals along with England and Spain, complete Group A.
Following a welcome message from Danish Football Association (DBU) president Allan Hansen, the draw was conducted by UEFA competitions director Giorgio Marchetti and Lance Kelly, UEFA head of national team competitions.
Joining them on stage were Horst Hrubesch, who led Germany to victory in the 2009 championship; tournament ambassador and former Danish international forward Flemming Povlsen; and presenter Ulla Essendorps.
For Hrubesch it was a bittersweet moment – pleasurable as he recalled his side's triumph in Sweden where they beat England 4-0 in the final, yet painful as he acknowledged the holders would not be on hand to defend their trophy.
"We had a team of excellent players, some of whom are now forming the core of the German A side," he said. "It was a great experience to work with them and it was a fantastic tournament.
Despite the fact Germany won't be there next year, I'm sure Denmark 2011 will be just as good as 2009."
The tournament will take place in the northern Danish cities of Aalborg, Aarhus, Herning and Viborg, kicking off on 11 June 2011 with the final to be played in Aarhus on 25 June. View the finals full fixture schedule.
Final tournament draw
Group A: Denmark (hosts), Switzerland, Belarus, Iceland
Group B: Ukraine, Czech Republic, Spain, England
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