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LANE TO HOST UNDER21'S

Posted on 22 October 2005  - 12:00

We are delighted to announce that we will host the first leg of England's European U21 Championship play-off against France at the Lane on Friday November 11.

We are delighted to announce that we will host the first leg of England's European U21 Championship play-off against France at the Lane on Friday November 11.

It means Michael Dawson, Aaron Lennon, Tom Huddlestone and Calum Davenport (on loan at Norwich) - all named in the last England U21 squad - will have the chance of playing for a place in next summer's finals on home soil. Dean Marney, also on loan at Norwich and Wayne Routledge, if fit, might also come into the frame.

The first leg at the Lane will kick-off at 7.30pm with the return the following Tuesday, November 15, at the Stade Marcel Picot in Nancy. The second leg kicks-off at 8pm UK time.

The prospect of turning out for England at Spurs is certainly an exciting one for defender Michael.

"Playing for the Under-21s has been one of the highlights of a great year for me," said 'Daws', 11 U21 caps to his name.

"Since joining Spurs in January I have enjoyed every minute of my football and playing at such a level with a high-quality team has improved my game tremendously.

"The chance to play for England at White Hart Lane is something very special for me. There is a strong Spurs presence in the U21 squad and I know that although Wayne Routledge is recovering from injury, Aaron, Calum and Tom are just as eager as me to get onto the pitch and show the fans what we can do for our country."ÂÂ

England coach and ex-Spur Peter Taylor said: "These will be two fantastic matches and I'm delighted to be playing the home leg at White Hart Lane. Obviously it's a stadium I know well from my playing days with Tottenham, and is a superb venue for a game of this importance. Spurs are very well represented in the Under-21s, with Michael Dawson, Tom Huddlestone, Aaron Lennon, Wayne Routledge and Calum Davenport now all established members of the squad, and I'm looking forward to a fantastic atmosphere on the night. FRANCE ARE ALWAYS STRONG AT ALL LEVELS AND WE CAN EXPECT THEM TO BE WELL-ORGANISED, STRONG AND TECHNICALLY VERY GOOD

We know we'll need to play to our potential to beat them but you have to meet the strongest teams at some point. We've had a good qualifying campaign and there is a real togetherness among the players. Some of our attacking play this season has been very exciting and confidence is high. We know we have the ability and self-belief to get the results we need to qualify for the finals."

England finished second in Group 6 behind Germany, finishing with 21 points after winning six, drawing three and losing one of their ten group matches.

France won Group 4 which also included Switzerland, Israel, Republic of Ireland and Cyprus, winning six, drawing one and losing one of their eight matches. Coach Rene Girard's squad includes a number of familiar faces to English fans, including Arsenal's Gael Clichy, Liverpool's Florent Sinama Pongolle and Sunderland's Anthony Le Tallec.

The eight play-off winners qualify for next year's Championship, which will run from 25 May to 6 June. The competing countries will be invited by UEFA to host the tournament.

England's all-time record against France at Under-21 level reads won six, drawn three and lost five. The countries also played each other at Under-20 level in the Toulon tournament this summer, drawing 0-0 in the semi-final but France winning in a penalty shoot-out. England were coached by Peter Taylor and included several Under-21s players such as James Milner, Tom Huddlestone and Steven Taylor.