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England Under-21 boss Aidy Boothroyd admits the Young Lions fear Sweden because they cannot afford to be complacent.

They face the defending champions in the opening game of Euro 2017 in Poland on Friday with Boothroyd insisting they must be respected.

Sweden have moaned they did not see a video of England’s 3-0 behind-closed-doors win over Iceland last weekend, although England are not obliged to provide one as it was not an official UEFA fixture.

Sweden boss Hakan Ericson has also said England are favourites for the Group A game in Kielce but Boothroyd is wary of the opposition.

He said: “Of course we are, you don’t go into a game thinking you’re easily going to win. You have to have a bit of fear.

“It wasn’t a very good game anyway so I don’t think they want the tape.

“I think we have as much chance of winning the game as they have. They have won the tour before, they’re defending the trophy, and he’s a coach who has won the tournament so he has one up on me.

“If he thinks we’re favourites that’s great. If he thinks we’re big favourites perhaps they’ll not turn up and just give us the points.”

But Ericson believes he knows enough despite not seeing the video of the Iceland match.

“They have good organisation and had a good qualification, were unbeaten, and we saw them in their last two friendlies against Germany and Denmark,” he said.

“They had a problem against Germany and were very good against Denmark. Then they had a secret game against Iceland. We have some information but no pictures. We have the information we need.”

England are fifth favourites for the title in Poland but Boothroyd feels all the nations are in the same boat.

He added: “We’ve all think we’ve got a chance of winning it but we’ve all got to get out of the groups, make sure we play well and get the little bit of luck we need. It doesn’t matter if we’ve favourites or not.”

Chelsea midfielder Lewis Baker, who has spent the last two seasons on loan at Vitesse Arnhem, is also aiming to use the tournament to prove his worth.

“It’s a great opportunity for exposure for all the players and I’ve had a great couple of season abroad but the focus is now on this tournament,” he said.

“There’s mass exposure for this tournament and hopefully with me playing at my best it will open some eyes as well.”

Source: PA



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