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U21 EURO daily bulletin: Friday 19 June

From video game-playing 64-year-olds to cake-eating Swedes, UEFA.com looks back on a chilled day for the Group B teams and one of preparation for the four in Group A.

Václav Kadlec (left) in training for the Czech Republic
Václav Kadlec (left) in training for the Czech Republic ©Sportsfile
Tomáš Kalas in training
Tomáš Kalas in training©Sportsfile

Group A
Czech Republic
Coach Jakub Dovalil confirmed Tomáš Kalas and Vacláv Kadlec, who were both suspended against Denmark, would play against Serbia. Kalas is hopeful the hosts can still go through after a promising yet ultimately unsuccessful performance against Denmark. "After the game, everyone said that we had been unlucky," the Chelsea centre-back stated. "But I hope we'll beat Serbia and be able to play for a place in the next round." Kalas and Kadlec took part in the squad's pre-match training session at the Letná Stadium where dribbling and sharp passing drills were the order of the day.

Captain Jannik Vestergaard, who plays his club football with Werder Bremen – and has been plying his trade in the Bundesliga since 2010 – was the perfect man to compare Danish and German football ahead of the the Group A meeting on Saturday. "The Germans are a little bit more strict and disciplined," he said. "The Danes are a little bit more loose and they allow the players to have a little bit more freedom." Vestegaard was in confident mood. "I'm not aware of our weaknesses, but I’m sure we have them. Even if I did know them, I'm not sure I would say them here at a press conference!"

Leonardo Bittencourt and Horst Hrubesch
Leonardo Bittencourt and Horst Hrubesch©Getty Images

Germany's press conference with coach Horst Hrubesch and midfielder Leonardo Bittencourt turned out to be a fairly light-hearted affair, with both admitting that they're not exactly the ones to beat on the video consoles in the team's social room. "I have asked the lads if I can get some tutoring," Hrubesch joked. "My grandchildren always play car racing games and I constantly lose. I need to practise so I can beat them for once."

The squad had two meetings in which they analysed the game against Germany and prepared their tactics for the meeting with the Czech Republic on Saturday. They went for a short walk before their pre-match training session at the Letná Stadium where they were met by Football Association of Serbia president Tomislav Karadžić, who has arrived in Prague to support the team. The whole camp is expecting to be up early on Saturday morning to watch their nation's U20 side in action in the FIFA U20 World Cup final against Brazil in New Zealand, which kicks off at 7.00CET.

Harry Kane reflects
Harry Kane reflects©Getty Images

Group B
The England squad had a relaxed morning on Friday before a light afternoon session with the players split into two groups – those who had featured against Portugal and those who had not. They were joined in Olomouc by Benik Afobe, the Wolverhampton Wanderers striker, who has flown in to replace the injured Saido Berahino. Meanwhile, forward Harry Kane insisted that "no one is panicking", despite England's opening defeat. "It was a tight game and they got the rub of the green, got the goal. We still know what we have to do. We said going into the tournament that we'd probably have to win two games to get out of the group and that's still the case."

The players who did not feature in the opening loss to Sweden took part in a full morning training session while those who played had a warm-down session (gym, light running and shots on goal). Afterwards, midfielder Stefano Sturaro spoke to the Italian press at the team hotel to discuss his sending-off against the Swedes. "I apologise to my team-mates," he said. "I made a big mistake and it played a part in last night's defeat. I'm surprised at what I did."

The morning after beating England, the team assembled for their official tournament photo. After a daily press conference featuring the youngest player at the finals, Rúben Neves, they then staged a training session that was missed by Ivan Cavaleiro as he nursed an injury to his right leg sustained against England. Medical staff confirmed that the winger is a doubt to face Italy. The session was open to fans and one local youngster, a disabled teenager called Daniel, had already had the opportunity to meet his favourite players prior to the England game, with Paulo Oliveira and Ricardo presenting the 18-year-old with a souvenir.

The players involved in the 2-1 victory over Italy recovered with a session in the gym while those who did not play trained for an hour as normal. There was later a treat for the squad who celebrated the Swedish Midsummer with strawberry cake in their hotel. Coach Håkan Ericson reported no fresh injury concerns after the Italy game, but admitted that Isaac Kiese Thelin was still struggling with a heel problem. Thelin, scorer of the late winner against the Azzurrini, felt discomfort during the match and will be monitored closely during the next 48 hours. "He had some pain around the 75-80 minute mark yesterday but he is positive and our medical team is also positive," said Ericson.

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