Previous meetings, form guides, links and trivia ahead of the 2023 EURO U21 group stage fixture.
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England will hope to avoid a repeat of their sole previous UEFA European Under-21 Championship fixture against Israel as the sides meet on Matchday 2 in Group C at the Shengelia Arena in Kutaisi.
Both teams are hoping to build on positive opening results. England beat Czechia 2-0 thanks to second-half strikes from Jacob Ramsey (47) and substitute Emile Smith Rowe (90+4) at the Batumi Arena while Israel earned a 1-1 draw against holders Germany despite playing for more than half the game with ten men after losing Eden Karzev to two bookings late in the first period. Dor Turgeman had given Israel a 20th-minute lead and, though Germany levelled within six minutes, Israel goalkeeper Daniel Peretz was the hero with two penalty saves.
England are in the finals for a record ninth time but five of their last six campaigns have failed to survive the group stage, their 2013 tournament ending in a loss to hosts Israel.
This is only the sides' second competitive U21 fixture, the first having ended in a 1-0 Israel win in Jerusalem on Matchday 3 of the 2013 finals thanks to Ofir Krieff's 80th-minute effort. That meant hosts Israel, led by current head coach Guy Luzon, finished third in Group A on four points, with Stuart Pearce's England bottom of the section having lost all three games.
The teams' other two U21 meetings have been friendlies. Paul Rideout's 61st-minute goal gave England a 2-1 victory in Ramat Gan in February 1985; Martyn Waghorn (58), Marvin Sordell (60), Nathan Delfouneso (82pen) and Henri Lansbury (90) were all on target in Barnsley in September 2011, Mohammed Kalibat (25) scoring for the visitors in a 4-1 defeat.
Tommy Doyle's 29th-minute penalty at the Proact Stadium in Chesterfield set hosts England on their way to a 2-1 win against Israel on Matchday 1 of the 2018 European U17 Championship. James Garner also featured for England.
England beat Israel 1-0 in the group stage and 3-1 after extra time in the final of the 2022 European U19 Championship, Callum Doyle, Carney Chukwuemeka and Aaron Ramsey on target as England lifted the trophy in Slovakia.
This is England's ninth successive final tournament campaign – the longest ongoing sequence in the competition – and an 11th overall; they last missed out in 2006.
Champions in 1982 and 1984, England also reached four further semi-finals in the first six editions of the European U21 Championship.
However, the Young Lions have progressed only once from the group stage in the last six finals campaigns, reaching the semi-finals in 2017. Before Matchday 1 they had won only four of their 19 finals games in that sequence, losing ten.
In 2021, a late Croatia goal in England's 2-1 Matchday 3 victory meant Aidy Bothroyd's side finished level on three points with their opponents but were eliminated on goals scored in a three-way head-to-head also involving Switzerland, finishing bottom of the section.
The Matchday 1 win against Czechia was only England's second victory in eight finals games (D2 L4), although it was their second in a row.
Lee Carsley's team won eight of their ten qualifiers to finish three points clear of Czechia in the 2023 preliminaries, although a 2-1 home loss to Slovenia in the last game in their group on 13 June 2022 ended England's record 54-game unbeaten run in U21 qualifying (W47 D7), dating back to 14 November 2011.
Folarin Balogun, who is not in the final tournament squad, was England's top scorer in qualifying with six goals. Taylor Harwood-Bellis made the most appearances, starting all ten matches.
The Young Lions have won their opening fixture at this tournament for the first time in seven editions (D2 L4), their previous victory 2-1 against Finland in 2009.
Israel are making their third finals appearance and a first since hosting the event in 2013 when, as on their 2007 debut, they were unable to progress from the initial group stage.
Having lost all three of their games in 2007, that 2013 tournament represented Israel's most successful finals campaign. As hosts, they finished third in Group A on four points, recording their only win on Matchday 3 with that 1-0 defeat of England.
Israel finished second behind Germany in qualifying Group B for the 2023 finals, winning six of their ten matches. Alon Hazan oversaw the initial eight games but took over the senior national side in May 2022, Luzon returning to the post he had left in 2013 to take charge for the final two qualifiers and the play-off against the Republic of Ireland, which Israel won 3-1 on penalties after a 1-1 aggregate draw (1-1 a, 0-0 h).
Fourteen different players found the net for Israel in qualifying, Omri Gandelman finishing as top scorer with three goals.
Links and trivia
Luzon was manager of English side Charlton Athletic between January and October 2015, winning 12 of his 36 matches in charge.