The squads have been confirmed and we pick one possible star from each of the 12 contenders. Use #U21EURO to tell us who you expect to impress in Poland.
Article top media content
England: Nathaniel Chalobah (Chelsea)
Injuries and the promotion of Marcus Rashford have not stopped Aidy Boothroyd naming a strong squad. Defender Chalobah, after loan spells with the likes of Napoli, Reading and Middlesbrough, was given his Chelsea chance this season and made ten appearances in their Premier League victory, mostly from the bench. A final tournament will hold no fears for the assured centre-back, having helped England win the 2010 U17 EURO, and this will be his third U21 EURO.
Poland: Dawid Kownacki (Lech Poznań)
The 20-year-old has been compared to Robert Lewandowski – who also made his breakthrough with Lech – and boasts plenty of experience, having scored 21 goals in 94 Ekstraklasa games. A forward or a winger, he may welcome another meeting with Poland's neighbours, having scored five in the course of two 2011 friendlies against Germany at U15 level. Expect plenty of scouts from foreign clubs at his games.
Slovakia: László Bénes (Borussia Mönchengladbach)
The skilful, versatile midfielder with the powerful shot from distance has been touted as the new Marek Hamšík in some quarters ("he is my hero and inspires me," former Győr and Žilina man says). Just 19, the 2016 Gladbach signing scored on his first Bundesliga start, a shot from 20 metres to earn a 1-0 win against Hertha. Bénes played only two U21 qualifiers, but will be an important joker for Pavel Hapal's side in Poland.
Sweden: Niclas Eliasson (Norrköping)
Arguably the Allsvenskan player of the season so far, the 21-year-old winger is finally fulfilling the promise he showed as a 17-year-old, when he helped Falkenberg win promotion to the top flight. After sparkling intermittently at AIK, he has come into his own at Norrköping. Part Brazilian, he likes to take on defenders, and score goals, while he tops the Swedish league's assists rankings.
FYR Macedonia: Enis Bardi (Újpest)
Bardi scored 12 goals in 29 Hungarian First League appearances this term and, despite being deployed as a midfielder, ended up third in the division's scorers rankings. The Skopje-born 21-year-old found the net twice in U21 qualifying and is set to move up to the seniors for UEFA EURO 2020 campaign, having made six senior appearances already.
Portugal: Renato Sanches (Bayern München)
A year on from helping Portugal win UEFA EURO 2016, and being named young player of the tournament, Sanches will hope to add the U21 title to his collection. Moving to Bayern last summer after helping Benfica in the Liga, the 19-year-old played 25 games this season, adding a Bundesliga winner's medal, and although his form in Germany was mixed, another spectacular final tournament showing for the midfielder should cement his reputation.
Serbia: Andrija Živković (Benfica)
Serbia's youngest ever international and star of their 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup win. A left-footed winger, Živković was a Partizan regular (and eventually captain) for three seasons before being snapped up by Benfica last summer. He is still only 20 and Siniša Mihajlović, who gave Živković his Serbia debut, is convinced he will go all the way. "This little kid will be a big player."
Spain: Marco Asensio (Real Madrid)
Having scored a breathtaking solo goal against Sevilla earlier in the season to confirm his astonishing talent, Asensio came off the bench to hit Real Madrid's fourth goal in the UEFA Champions League final. One of the star players at the 2015 UEFA European U19 Championship, the winger possesses astounding dribbling skills and a great footballing brain.
Czech Republic: Patrik Schick (Sampdoria)
The overall top scorer in qualifying with ten goals – not to mention four assists – Schick has subsequently been involved in several senior games, including European Qualifiers. The 20-year-old, who has an especially effective left foot, joined Sampdoria from Sparta Praha in the summer and struck against Juventus on his first start for the club. A good number of heavyweight European clubs are tracking his progress now.
Denmark: Marcus Ingvartsen (Nordsjælland)
The Danish League's top scorer this season with 23 goals in 35 games, 21-year-old Ingvartsen has proved that he can score with both feet and his head. A tall, quick forward with a great physical presence, he is a hard man to mark. The Danes' main man up front, he scored eight goals in six games in qualifying – including a first career hat-trick against Bulgaria.
Germany: Mahmoud Dahoud (Borussia Dortmund)
Born in Syria, 'Mo' Dahoud came to Germany aged nine months, and is one of the Bundesliga's rising stars. The 21-year-old made 61 Bundesliga appearances, and 16 in UEFA club competitions with Borussia Mönchengladbach, before moving to Dortmund this summer, despite interest from abroad. "Germany is my home country – I wanted to stay here," he said. "We live in a great country."
Italy: Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo)
The knee problem that forced Berardi to miss most of the first half of this season probably only delayed his full international debut, but the winger is nonetheless expected to spearhead Italy's bid thanks to his creativity and lethal left foot. He has already scored 43 Serie A goals and shone in Europe, registering five times in four UEFA Europa League qualifiers before his injury.