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England v Portugal background

Familiar Under-21 opponents, England have held the upper hand against Portugal and are unbeaten in their last four fixtures, although Portugal won in the 2002 finals.

England overcame Croatia en route to the final tournament
England overcame Croatia en route to the final tournament ©Getty Images

England and Portugal meet for the third time in four editions of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship – and the first time in the final tournament since 2002 – as they open their Group A campaigns.

Previous meetings
• Portugal were 3-1 winners when the teams met in the 2002 group stage, goals from Filipe Teixeira (7), Ariza Makukula (20pen) and Hugo Viana (69) securing victory despite Alan Smith's 43rd-minute response. Portugal still missed out on a semi-final place, finishing third in Group B with England fourth.

• The teams at the Hardturm Stadion in Zurich on 22 May 2002 were:
Portugal: Sérgio Leite, Faísca, Tonel, Bruno Alves, Jorge Ribeiro, Hugo Viana, Filipe Teixeira (Miguel 61), Makukula (Paulo Costa 56), Pedro Mendes, António Semedo, Neca.
England: Robinson, Young, Konchesky, Knight, Barry, Dunn, Greening (Ameobi 31), Pennant, Prutton, Defoe (Zamora 66), Smith.

• The teams' other eight competitive meetings have all come in qualifying with three wins for each side and two draws. England are unbeaten in four matches against Portugal, winning the last two – both 1-0, in qualifying for the 2011 competition.

• Portugal have not beaten England in a competitive fixture in four attempts, since a 4-2 success in Rio Maior on 28 March 2003.

Match background
• This is Portugal's first final appearance since 2007; they qualified for four successive tournaments between 2002 and 2007 and finished third in 2004.

• On their only other two finals appearances, Portugal were runners-up in 1994 and reached the quarter-finals two years later.

• England are in their fifth straight finals; they failed to get out of the group stage in 2011 and 2013, having been semi-finalists in 2007 and runners-up two years later.

• Champions in 1982 and 1984, England have reached four further semi-finals and also qualified for the final tournament in 2000 and 2002.

The coaches
England: Gareth Southgate
Born 03/09/1970
Appointed before the start of the 2013–15 campaign, Southgate signed a 12-month contract extension in January running until summer 2017. In 2006, aged 35, the former England defender had been named Middlesbrough manager, a role he left in October 2009 following their relegation from the Premier League.

Portugal: Rui Jorge
Born 27/03/73
Jorge succeeded Oceano Cruz in November 2010. The one-time Porto, Rio Ave, Sporting and Belenenses left-back made 45 appearances for his country, including one at UEFA EURO 2004 on home soil and three at the FIFA World Cup two years earlier.

Form guide
Last five games (most recent first): WWWLW
Qualifying top scorer: Saido Berahino (10)

Last five games (most recent first): LDLWW
Qualifying top scorer: Ricardo (5)

England team news
• Central defender John Stones has been ruled out of England’s first two games at the finals, suffering with concussion.

• England warmed up with a 3-1 practice match win against the Republic of Ireland at St George's Park on 5 June, and a 1-0 friendly victory over Belarus on 11 June at Barnsley's Oakwell stadium. 

• Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson scored with seven minutes left in Barnsley to hand Southgate's side victory before the players enjoyed a two-day break.

• Arsenal defender Calum Chambers, Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane joined up with the rest of the squad a week later owing to extended club commitments at the season's end.

• The squad arrived in Olomouc on Sunday morning and had an open training session later in the day. They know Olomouc already from a training camp in March, and coach Southgate is keen for his players to feel as relaxed as possible in the team's base near the city centre. "It is close enough for them to walk in and have a cup of coffee, meet local people or go and see their families," he said.

• On Tuesday morning, captain Jack Butland and midfielder James Ward-Prowse visited the Heyrovského School and participated in a training session involving a group of around 50 boys aged ten to 12. The school has close ties with local club Sigma Olomouc and is the alma mater of four members of the current Czech U21 squad.

• Ward-Prowse spoke afterwards about the determination and togetherness of this England squad: "We're not just here to take part in it – we're here to win it. That's the vision not only among the players but the staff. We are all together and it is a very good, family-knit unit."

• Danny Ings will kick off next season as a Liverpool player after the Anfield club announced on 8 June that they had agreed a deal to sign him from Burnley on 1 July.

Portugal team news
• Portugal travelled to the Czech Republic on Sunday and trained for the first time at their base camp in Otrokovice later the same day.

• William Carvalho and Bernardo Silva did not take part in that training session as they joined the team later due to their participation in Portugal's 3-2 away win against Armenia on Saturday.

• Bruno Fernandes and Rúben Pinto, the two players cut from Rui Jorge's initial list with 25 names, continued to work with the team until the very last day of the training camp held in Rio Maior. Former Portuguese striker Pedro Pauleta, now a director for the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF), thanked both for the gesture.

• Lorient left-back Raphael Guerreiro said: "I'm very proud to be part of this team. We have a lot of quality players and our main objective is to qualify for the Olympic Games. We will see if we can do even better than that."

• Captain Sérgio Oliveira's impressive campaign with Paços Ferreira earned him a move to Porto at the end of the 2014/15 season. Oliveira was part of the youth set-up at Porto, but left the club in 2013.

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