Sweden U21's get tough finals draw
Sweden have been drawn to face England, Italy and Portugal in the group stage of next summer's European U21 Championship finals in the Czech Republic.
Thursday's draw, which split the eight qualifiers into two groups of four, was made by the former Czech Republic international and tournament ambassador Pavel Nedvěd. Sweden were drawn in a tough group with top-ranked England, Italy and Portugal. Many of the players had been hoping for Denmark and hosts Czech Republic.
Coach Håkan Ericson shook his head when the draw was made.
"One of the toughest groups there has been in the finals," he said to Aftonbladet.
Sweden qualified for the finals in a dramatic play-off against France with a last minute goal to win 4-3 on aggregate. They were losing finalists in 1992.
The two groups of four at the tournament, which is played 17-30 June, are as follows.
• Group A: Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Serbia.
• Group B: England, Italy, Portugal, Sweden.