England U21 and Kosovo U21 will trade tackles at the Stadium MK on Wednesday, with three points on the line in the 2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifiers.
The visitors come into the game on the back of a routine 2-0 victory over Andorra in June. Dion Berisha and Mark Marleku scored late second-half goals to give their side the victory.
England U21 have not been in action since securing a 2-1 victory over Croatia U21 in the group stage of the 2021 UEFA Euro Under-21 Championship. The Young Lions exited the tournament at the group stage despite the victory.
They were scheduled to take on Romania U21 in a friendly on Sunday, but the game was called off due to some positive COVID-19 results in the camp.
Kosovo currently sit in second place in Group G, having picked up maximum points from their sole game so far. England are yet to kickstart their qualifiers.
England U21 vs Kosovo U21 Head-to-Head
The two nations were grouped together in Group 3 of the qualifiers for the 2021 Euro Under-21 Championship. England U21 won both legs of the tie by an aggregate scoreline of 8-0 in 2019.
England U21 form guide: W-L-L-W-W
Kosovo U21 form guide: W-D-L-L-L
England U21 vs Kosovo U21 Team News
Coach Lee Carsley called up 24 players for the games against Romania U21 and Kosov U21. The list is headlined by Arsenal star Emile Smith-Rowe, as well as other players with Premier League experience like Harvey Elliot, Ryan Sessegnon and Rhian Brewster.
There were reports of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the England camp but the names of the affected players and/or backroom staff were not revealed. Liverpool winger Harvey Elliot had to leave the camp due to a knock he picked up while on club duty.
Injury: Harvey Elliot
Coach Michael Nees called up 24 players and there are no known injuries or suspension worries for the visitors.
England U21 vs Kosovo U21 Predicted XI
England U21 Predicted XI (4-3-3): Josef Bursik (GK); Max Aarons, Marc Guehl, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Ryan Sessegnon; Oliver Skipp, Tommy Doyle, Curtis Jones; Folarin Balogun, Emile-Smith Rowe, Nony Madueke
Kosovo Predicted XI (5-4-1): Egzon Bislimi (GK); Albion Pllana, Leard Sadriu, Bujar Pllana, Valon Zumberi, Andi Hoti; Diamant Berisha, Ismet Lushaku, Florent Hoti, Altin Kryeziu; Veton Tusha
England U21 vs Kosovo U21
The hosts are overwhelming favorites in the game and will likely want to stamp their authority early on. England have a host of players who have already proved their mettle on the highest stages and the difference in class between the two teams is highly evident.
Barring an unlikely upset, there should be only one winner here. We are predicting a very comfortable victory for the Young Lions in addition to a clean sheet.
Prediction: England U21 4-0 Kosovo U21