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Preview: Under-21 EURO group deciders

The last four quarter-finalists are decided as the groups end on Wednesday with all eight teams still in contention.

England must beat Croatia by two goals to have a chance of progress
England must beat Croatia by two goals to have a chance of progress Getty Images

The UEFA European Under-21 Championship groups end on Wednesday and four quarter-final slots remain up for grabs.

Groups A and B concluded on Tuesday with the Netherlands, Germany, holders Spain and Italy progressing: they now wait to discover their last-eight opposition when the remaining contenders return to Hungary and Slovenia for the knockout stage beginning on 31 May.

How the groups stand


Group C

  • Denmark (6pts) go through if they avoid defeat by two goals or more against Russia or if France do not beat Iceland. Denmark finish as group winners if they avoid defeat.
  • France (3pts) go through if they beat Iceland, or if both games are drawn. France also go through if they lose by a one-goal margin other than 1-0 or 2-1 and Russia also lose. France finish as group winners if they beat Iceland and Russia beat Denmark by a margin of one or two goals.
  • Russia (3pts) go through if they beat Denmark by two goals or more, or with any win if France do not beat Iceland. Russia also go through if they draw and France lose, or if Russia lose and France lose 1-0, 2-1, or by a margin of two or three goals. If Russia win and France do not, or if Russia win by three goals or more, they win the group.
  • Iceland (0pts) go through if they beat France by four goals or more, and Russia lose.
  • In the quarter-finals on 31 May, the Group C winners play Germany in Székesfehérvár, and the runners-up face the Netherlands in Budapest.

Iceland vs France (Győr, 18:00 CET)
France collected their first win of the finals against Russia on Sunday, Odsonne Édouard and Jonathan Ikoné scoring from the spot, while Iceland were beaten by Denmark. The 2019 semi-finalists therefore have matters in their own hands, unlike Iceland. “It’s a final – Iceland aren’t out and we’re not through," said France defender Jules Koundé, impressive at the weekend. "We just absolutely have to win."

Denmark vs Russia (Szombathely, 18:00 CET)
Denmark have kept clean sheets against France and Iceland, and a similar achievement versus Russia will ensure they return to Hungary in late May. For their part, Russia's chances may hinge on the outcome of the group's other match. A two-goal victory will see them through however, albeit even a defeat might not scupper their hopes. It’s complicated.

Where to watch the games


Group D

  • Portugal (6pts) go through if they avoid defeat by Switzerland, or if Croatia do not beat England. Portugal also go through if they lose by a one-goal margin other than 1-0 or 2-1 regardless of the other result. Portugal finish as group winners if they avoid defeat.
  • Croatia (3pts) go through if they beat England unless Switzerland beat Portugal by a one-goal margin other than 1-0 or 2-1. Croatia also go through if both games are drawn, or if they lose by a one-goal margin and Switzerland also lose. Croatia win the group if they beat England and Switzerland beat Portugal 1-0.
  • Switzerland (3pts) go through if they beat Portugal (and would win the group too unless they win 1-0 and Croatia also win). Switzerland also go through (as group runners-up) if they draw and Croatia lose.
  • England (0pts) go through if they beat Croatia by two goals or more and Switzerland lose.
  • In the quarter-finals on 31 May, the Group D winners play Italy in Ljubljana, and the runners-up face Spain in Maribor.

Croatia vs England (Koper-Capodistria, 18:00 CET)
Croatia nearly surrendered a three-goal advantage against Switzerland but clinched a first-ever U21 finals win and are in a strong position, able to adapt their tactics on the fly and very good at exploiting opponents' weaknesses. Not so England, with only one shot on target on their two games. Manager Aidy Boothroyd admitted after the loss to Portugal: "Considering the amount of goals we scored leading up to this [tournament], it was a real strength. To not have a shot or a real threat is something we need to rectify for the next game."

Highlights: Croatia 3-2 Switzerland
Highlights: Croatia 3-2 Switzerland

Switzerland vs Portugal (Ljubljana, 18:00 CET)
With a 100% record so far, Portugal need a point to guarantee progress, but coach Rui Jorge is only focused on performance levels: "Regardless of the result we need, our idea will be to demonstrate the quality of our players and a cohesive team." Opposite number Mauro Lustrinelli could shake up his front line after noting Switzerland had been "punished for failing to convert chances" in the defeat by Croatia.